An investigation of the relationship between Adult Basic Education (ABE) and accessing poverty alleviation resources in selected ethnic minority communities in Vietnam
Author(s)Ross, Colman Patrick
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This study examines two approaches to Adult Basic Education (ABE) and their influence on accessing poverty alleviation resources in selected ethnic minority communities in Vietnam. In a multiple case study that relied heavily on structured and semi-structured interviews, investigations focused on the curricula, methodology, teacher / facilitator training, use of local languages, link to poverty alleviation and post-course use of literacy and literate environments by participants in each of the three selected case study communities. Although there are numerous models and methods for implementing ABE programmes, this study focused on Reflect and the Government of Vietnam’s Adult Literacy Programme implemented by local education authorities (DOET). Reflect an approach developed by ActionAid is based on the theory of conscientisation, pioneered by Paulo Freire. Adult learners explore development challenges and these become the basis to be taught literacy and numeracy skills. This approach is compared and contrasted with the more conventional functional literacy approach of DOET using the Government of Vietnam poverty alleviation programme P135 to measure the influence both approaches have on access and participation. Findings concentrate on answering the main research question: How do differences in ABE / literacy approaches impact on how specific ethnic minorities access specific poverty alleviation resources in Vietnam? Major findings indicate that ABE approaches that deliver good overall levels of literacy provide a necessary platform for participants to develop an awareness and understanding of P135 which can improve access and is essential for meaningful participation. ABE approaches such as Reflect have a greater potential to impact upon access and participation in P135 when implemented using participatory methodology and delivered by local facilitators who are from the target ethnic group, understand the local language and culture and have an awareness and understanding of Government of Vietnam (GoV) poverty alleviation strategy. Impediments to accessing ABE resources include residential location, mobility, inadequate incentives and resources and limited culturally relevant literate environments. Implications of findings centre on recommendations to improve the planning, location and implementation of complementary ABE and poverty alleviation interventions that match local expectations by using culturally sensitive approaches and local human and material resources to promote inclusion and community participation to achieve realistic and sustainable development objectives.