STEM education and outcomes in Vietnam: Views from the social gap and gender issues

Abstract

United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 4 Quality Education has highlighted major challenges for all nations to ensure inclusive and equitable quality access to education, facilities for children, and young adults. The SDG4 is even more important for developing nations as receiving proper education or vocational training, especially in science and technology, means a foundational step in improving other aspects of their citizens’ lives. However, the extant scientific literature about STEM education still lacks focus on developing countries, even more so in the rural area. Using a dataset of 4967 observations of junior high school students from a rural area in a transition economy, the article employs the Bayesian approach to identify the interaction between gender, socioeconomic status, and students’ STEM academic achievements. The results report gender has little association with STEM academic achievements; however, female students (αa_Sex[2] = 2.83) appear to have achieved better results than their male counterparts (αa_Sex[1] = 2.68). Families with better economic status, parents with a high level of education (βb(EduMot) = 0.07), or non-manual jobs (αa_SexPJ[4] = 3.25) are found to be correlated with better study results. On the contrary, students with zero (βb(OnlyChi) = -0.14) or more than two siblings (βb(NumberofChi) = -0.01) are correlated with lower study results compared to those with only one sibling. These results imply the importance of providing women with opportunities for better education. Policymakers should also consider maintaining family size so the parents can provide their resources to each child equally.

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Quan-Hoang Vuong
Phenikaa University
Manh-Toan Ho
Phenikaa University

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