On Wednesday, November 9, 2016, the 9th JSPS Core-to-Core Program Seminar was held in the Main Conference Room of Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies (GSICS) at Kobe University. The topic of the seminar was “Education Finance and Public Policy in Developing Countries. Many young researchers from in and out of GSICS participated in the Seminar along with senior researchers.

Dr. Le Khanh Tuan, Deputy General Director, Department of Planning and Finance, Ministry of Education and Training from Vietnam presented on “Results in Building the National Account of Education in Vietnam” in which he shared the challenges in education finance of Vietnam. Decentralization of education finance in Vietnam contributes to regional autonomy but also poses challenges to the central government in the management of education finance. Government expenditure in education is growing but current spending on education only meets modest requirements. There is an increasing pressure on expanding state budget and financial contribution of parents and community. He also mentioned the need for an effective and unified reporting system of public expenditure on education.

JSPS Seminar 9Dr. Pham Vu Thang, Director, Center for Economic Development Studies, Vietnam National University presented on “Education Finance in Primary Education in Vietnam: From School Level Perspective.” Vietnam invests 6% of its GDP on education but there remains room for improvement. Although the country exercises highly financial decentralization, each province has its own method to allocate public budget to their schools resulting in disparities. He also discussed the Full Day Schools (FDS) and Half Day Schools (HDS) and pointed out the problematic differences in financing that they receive from the government as well as lack of government policy to bring more resources to FDS schools.

Dr. Ki-Seok Lee, Research Professor, Seoul National University, and Professor Keiichi Ogawa at Kobe University,presented the findings of their joint study titled “Financing for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in Sri Lanka.” Sri Lanka has achieved most of the education-related MDGs although there remains gender inequality in education. In terms of ECCE, there is absence of basic indicators and government spending on ECCE is significantly low compared to other Asian and African developing countries, although the World Bank has recently committed 50 million USD in concessional loan to be invested in ECCE. Other challenges include weak coordination among the stakeholders involved in ECCE, as well as lack of standardized curriculum, teacher training, and qualified teachers.

After the presentations, three young researchers served as discussants and provided comments and questions to the speakers. The discussants are Dr. Kentrao Shimada, JSPS Research Fellow at Kyoto University, Mr. Md. Jahangir Alam, Research Student at Kobe University/ Assistant Professor at University of Dhaka, and Ms. Huyen T.T. Nguyen, doctoral student at Kobe University/ Lecturer at Vietnam National University.

The presentations were followed by a Q&A session during which many young researchers participated actively and received valuable comments from the speakers.

(Authored by Najung Kim, Doctoral Student)

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Category: Core to Core Seminar