Ha Giang, 8 August 2017 – Ha Giang City launched its first Community Learning Centre (CLC), providing experimental education and mental health care in support of comprehensive child development, and training of students and community members. With a focus on the provision of educational as well as mental healthcare services, the CLC is highly anticipated to become successful in the mountainous city of Ha Giang and to serve as a model for the development of CLCs in other cities of Viet Nam.
The new Ha Giang City Community Learning Centre contributes to strengthening and promoting the participation of community members in non-formal education activities, namely through programmes on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), English language literacy, special education, inclusive education, mental healthcare and life-long learning.
The inauguration of the Centre took place at Ha Giang City in the northernmost province of Ha Giang, with the participation and support of the Ha Giang People’s Committee, Ha Giang City People’s Committee and UNESCO Ha Noi.
The establishment of the Centre comes four months after the Workshop on Ha Giang Community Learning Centres Model was organized in late March 2017. Results of the workshop indicated the strong leadership and support from the Provincial Standing Committee and Provincial People’s Committee on fundamental and comprehensive renovation of education and training, contributing to the socio-economic development of the province.
The building located at Group 1, Tran Phu Ward, Ha Giang City comprises of a total area of 595m2 including working offices, spaces for organising educational activities, a child-friendly community-based library and areas for community activities in order to facilitate individuals and groups to easily access and benefit from the Centre’s services.
Once in operation, the Ha Giang City Community Learning Centre will provide training sessions on STEM, education for those with special educational needs, applied linguistics and arts education, strengthening community-based tourism human resources in Ha Giang City and other districts within the province. Additionally, consultative programmes and activities will provide psychological support and healthcare for children, parents and other groups within the community.
Ms. Hoang Dieu Thuy, Director of the Ha Giang City Community Learning Centre, stated that the Centre’s philosophy is one based on a “society of sustainable learning, a society in which everyone strives for self-improvement through self-study, or participation in non-formal education programmes, needs to learn; A society that includes disadvantaged groups such as the disabled, the elderly, women and children all have the opportunity to access knowledge and support comprehensive development; A community where social groups find their needs and opportunities to learn and become part of a larger community.”
Mr. Toshiyuki Matsumoto, UNESCO Education Programme Specialist and Acting Representative of the UNESCO Office in Ha Noi, highlighted the importance of CLCs as they “serve as local institutions for lifelong learning, performing important functions to revitalize the pursuit of knowledge at a local level and building community bonds to address sustainable development problems and needs.” Additionally, he affirmed that “UNESCO is committed to supporting Viet Nam in its commendable progression towards lifelong learning for all.”
The Centre is expected to receive financial support from the Ha Giang City People’s Committee until the end of 2017. As of 2018, the Centre will be financially independent, relying on the collection of tuition fees, public-private partnerships, non-refundable grants, interest-free loans, and fundraising activities.