What Determines Learning Among Kinh and Ethnic Minority Students in Vietnam? An Analysis of the Round 2 Young Lives Data
Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, Volume 2, Issue 3, pages 494-516, September 2015
23 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2016
Date Written: September 9, 2015
An analysis of the Young Lives data collected in 2006, involving a younger cohort (aged 5) and an older cohort (aged 12), yields three important findings regarding the Kinh – ethnic minority gaps in mathematics and reading skills in Vietnam. First, large disparities exist even before children start primary school. Second, language may play an important role: Vietnamese-speaking ethnic minority children scored much higher than their non-Vietnamese-speaking counterparts, even though tests could be taken in any language the child chooses. Third, Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions indicate that higher parental education among Kinh children explains about one third of the gap for both cohorts. For the older cohort, Kinh households' higher income explains 0.2-0.3 standard deviations (SDs) of the gap (1.3-1.5 SDs). More time in school, less time spent working, and better nutritional status each explain about 0.1 SDs of the mathematics score gap; Kinh children's more years of schooling explains about 0.3 SDs of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test score gap.
Keywords: cognitive skills, ethnic minority, Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition, Vietnam, education
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