How Vietnam Opened New Doors for Deaf Children | World Bank

Lo Mu Du Ly-Et was born in 2010 to deaf parents belonging to the Cil (K’ho) ethnic group in the central highland province of Lam Dong in Vietnam.  Ly-Et’s parents’ deafness was considered a burden to their families, but they overcame that stigma, raised a family together, and wanted their child to have opportunities that had been unavailable to them.  

“Ly-Et came to us without any language skills, not in writing, reading or sign,” said Nguyen Thi Ngoc Minh. “We were lucky to be able to access a good set of sign language materials suitable for primary school students so that she and her friends could learn quickly.”

The sign language that enabled Ly-Et to thrive was an outcome of the just-concluded Quality Improvement of Primary Education for Deaf Children Project (QIPEDC), administered by the World Bank with funding from the Global Partnership for Results-Based Approaches. This project has enriched the lives of Ly-Et and almost 2,000 other deaf children from 20 provinces across the country, well more than the 1,200 originally envisioned. In addition to a set of 4,000 gestures for communication among deaf children and the deaf community, the project also developed a series of 150 video lessons to cover math and other subjects for students in grades one through five.

Though sign language is not new to the Vietnamese deaf community, it has not been introduced widely as an official language for teaching and learning for children. Since the World Bank-managed Intergenerational Deaf Education Project (IDEO) introduced a set of 2,000 gestures in 2015, however, sign language has gradually become part of preschool and kindergarten curricula. Even so, most of Vietnam’s estimated 116,000 deaf children rely solely on methods such as reading lips or wearing hearing aids to communicate.

Read the full news: