Remarks by USAID Mission Director Francis Donovan, at the Closing Ceremony for 256 Teachers Trained in Kon Tum “Improving Education in Central Highlands” project
KON RAY, Kon Tum Province, Vietnam, June 14, 2012 -- It is a pleasure to come back to Kon Tum Province for this graduation ceremony. Today we celebrate 256 teachers who have successfully finished a three-year training in new teaching methods.
The U.S. Government supported this training under "Improving Education in the Central Highlands" USAID project. This was an excellent partnership with the Province and the Kon Ray District and through our implementing partner, East Meets West.
By providing this training to teachers in Kon Tum, who teach at various levels of education from preschool to lower secondary, we have worked with Kon Tum education officials' efforts to improve the abilities of teachers' to work with disadvantaged students. These educators are now better able to work with ethnic minority and special needs students. Marginalized groups who were previously at risk of falling behind in school can now gain access to a good education.
To the teachers and the trainers, I admire your dedication. Many of you traveled long distances and also had to make tough family choices to attend the trainings. Despite the obstacles, you remained committed to being active participants for change.
In addition to teacher training, this project has resulted in the construction and renovation of 25 kindergartens, creation of income-generating activities for disadvantaged parents, and training for parents in early childhood development.
We hope these results will serve as a model for future programs in education in the Central Highlands and other regions in Vietnam. I learned recently that the local authorities will dedicate resources to carry on the important work that we started together. The first time I saw this school, it reminded me of when you meet someone so beautiful you have to look twice to be sure it is real. This school looks beautiful and I hope it continues to inspire others to continue the great work you are doing.
Finally, congratulations to the graduates, and I wish all of you much success, good health and happiness.
Xin cam on!