The Vietnamese Government has long valued the importance of education. In 2008, its public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP was 5.3%. This compared to 5.4% in the UK and 5.5% in the United States of America in the same year. In 2009, the government spent 13.35% of its national budget on education and training.
Vietnam has a national policy whereby “the State encourages persons with disabilities to learn by the mode of integrative education.” However, despite the best of intentions, it is recognised that the government faces significant barriers in its ability to provide a comprehensive education to children with disability, such as poorly trained teachers; attitudinal barriers; and lack of resources, adapted curricula, assistive devices, and the built environment.
Progress for people with disabilities in Vietnam has primarily been limited to people with mobility impairments, hearing impairments, and visual impairments. People with other disabilities, such as cognitive disabilities have been largely neglected, and often live in conditions of significant isolation, segregation, and exclusion. Studies by UNICEF have shown that as little as 20% of children with disabilities receive an education.
The Vietnamese schooling system is currently unable to cope with children who have more than a minor disability, such as some hearing impairment and minor sight impairment. There are some schools in the major Vietnamese cities that do provide education for a percentage of children with disability in those areas but there are no schools in the poor rural districts, such as Dien Ban, and in fact the whole of Quang Nam Province.
According to a USAID report, most children with disability do not have access to schools past the fifth grade.