- LuxDev's Regional office
- Vientiane Regional Office
- Vocational Training & Access to Employment
- Partner execution agency
- Bac Kan Provincial People’s Committee (PPC)
- PIC 3
- 2011 - 2015
- Implementation period
- 1 April 2016 - 30 November 2020
- Total duration
- 56 months
- Total budget
- 3,700,000 EUR
- Contribution breakdown
- Luxembourg Government
- National contribution
Bac Kan Vocational College - Promotion Video
A promotional video showcasing the opportunities that Bac Kan Vocational College can offer to students interested in vocational training. Former graduates of the Bac Kan Vocational College were interviewed and their sucess story is a perfect example for the workforce of Bac Kan.
Training on Management of VET Colleges - English subtitle
In late November 2018, 50 leaders from 23 vocational schools in the northern region of Việt Nam and 6 leaders from 3 vocational education and training colleges in the LAO PDR were gathered in a training programme on “Management of Vocational Education and Training (VET) Colleges” in Bắc Kạn Province to harness and share their management experience.
Bac Kan Galaxy Center
A promotional video showcasing the opportunities that Bac Kan Vocational College can offer English training for kids and young learners. The new center, called Galaxy English Center, is another option for kids and teens to enhance their practical and hands-on English learning in Bac Kan and its neighboring provinces.
Ban Kan Vocational College uses renewable energy
Project VIE/034 has supported Bac Kan Vocational College 80 solar panels and its inverter. The system will be used for training demonstration, raising awareness of using clean energy and supplying power in the college.
Galaxy English Center - #StopCOVID19
The kids at the Galaxy English Center enjoy dancing in promoting physical distancing and washing hands which can keep them healthy and prevent the spread of COVID 19.
Strategic Plan for Development of BKVC
Bac Kan Vocational College teachers and staff widen their horizon with English courses
Project VIE/034 is the second phase of a Luxembourg development cooperation support to the Bac Kan Vocational College (BKVC). The aims of this new project are to:
- Consolidate the achievements of the first phase;
- Improve the school’s management thereby also enhancing the financial robustness through its income-generating potential; and
- Offer a market as well as client-oriented educational programme.
The overall objective of project VIE/034 is to promote employment and livelihood development in line with the economic opportunities and the local sociocultural context in northern Vietnam, while the specific objective is to develop the BKVC to an attractive, well-managed and financially robust school providing vocational education and training meeting the opportunities and demand of the regional labour market as well as the sociocultural expectations of the local population.
These objectives will be achieved through two results:
- the overall management of BKVC is improved; and
- BKVC offers an attractive market and client-oriented educational programme.
VIETNAM - Support to Bac Kan College, assessment and resultsRetrospective of Intervention – How did we do?
The Bac Kan Vocational Training and Education (Phase II) intervention was set out to develop the Bac Kan College to an attractive, well-managed and financially robust school providing vocational education and training that meets the opportunities and demands of the regional labour market as well as the sociocultural expectations of the local population. The intervention has come to an end and an external evaluation team looked back at achievements and challenges as well as lessons learned.
The evaluation confirmed that the College’s overall management was improved through the strategic plan and the human resource development roadmap, both developed via a participatory approach that ensures continuous development as well as staff skills and knowledge. The College’s network expanded nationally (to other TVET schools) as well as internationally (to Laos VET schools and the VET-Toolbox, among others) for training, curricula development as well as for funding purposes.
As far as the market- and client-oriented educational and training offers are concerned, the College made advancements in terms of curricula developments, the setting up of the Agroforestry Faculty, the implementation of internship programmes for enrolled students and a job search service for graduates. These improvements can be seen through both the results of labour market studies and a tracer study; indeed, the graduates’ employment rate increased by 6% between 2016 and 2020, reaching nearly 88%. Furthermore, employer satisfaction with graduates from BKC reached 84.4%, which is an increase of 14.4% compared to 2016.
According to the evaluation, one of the major strengths was the intervention’s relevance – “happening at the right time in the right place”.
Feeling the pressure to become a financially independent institution, the College needed support to strengthen capacities and build a reputation. Furthermore, the evaluation team highlighted the increase of the competence and confidence of students and staff. This combination of professional and personal development was crucial for the realisation of the objective, namely the promotion of employment and livelihood development.
Even though the intervention was successful in many aspects, the evaluation reported on the challenges that lie ahead. While the institution is generating some revenue representing at the time of the evaluation 19.3% of the total budget, the current income-sourcing activities are not sufficient to support the College financially without an external financial support. New regulations prohibiting the operation of independent centres create another obstacle for a financial independence.
A second big challenge is graduate employment. The rate of lower-quality jobs (i.e. working for households) is still relatively high (21.64%). According to the evaluation team this is related to graduates being reluctant to move away from home to find higher-quality jobs outside the province. In order to increase the willingness to leave the hometown, the evaluation recommends that College could offer trainings in social skills, increased internet access for information and communication as well as put a stronger focus on the students’ orientation.
Overall, the intervention was relevant and supported the development of the College to become a more effective and efficient institution. The increase in confidence and competence of the staff led to higher commitment, to the improvement of management and consequently the creation of an attractive educational and training offer that can ultimately lead to the promotion of employment and livelihood development in the province.
Students learn muchroom growing
Lesson 1: Activities were implemented “at the right time” and targeted “the right institution”.
Lesson 2: A comprehensive and flexible approach was based on the needs of the beneficiaries, thus appropriate and covering key aspects.
Lesson 3: The support of the Bac Kan provincial agencies, in particular the Provincial People’s Committee and the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, as well as the high commitment of all implicated staff (management, faculties, project and technical advisor) are undeniable success factors.
The Bac Kan, Technical and Vocational Education and Training - Phase II project (VIE/034), was funded by the Luxembourg Cooperation and implemented by LuxDev
VIETNAM - Ba Be lake, where nature inspires technology
Being one in twelve initiatives funded by Bac Kan, Technical and Vocational Education and Training - Phase II-Project VIE/034 in 2019, the solar boat was a success. With the continuous support from Project VIE/034, upgrading from the solar car model, Mr Vu Xuan Nghia, teacher of Electrical Faculty at Bac Kan Vocational College (BKVC) has conducted the research and successfully assembled an electric boat powered by solar energy using photovoltaic cells. This solar boat is the first of its kind in Bac Kan province. It is now seen running on Ba Be lake, a famous tourist attraction nested in the majestic mountain ranges of the Ba Be National Park located in the Northeast of Vietnam. The lake has also been listed into the Tentative Lists of World Heritage nomination of UNESCO.
The ever-green Ba Be National Park
Ba Be lake was one of the most important reasons for Mr Nghia to make this solar boat. In 13 months of hard work, with frequent back and forth travel from Bac Kan city to Ba Be lake, upon facing any challenge, Mr Nghia always reminded himself the symbol that this boat would represent. The solar boat would be an excellent example of a new and green way to do business in tourism sector in Bac Kan province. He wanted to shift the thinking of conducting business into green and clean tourism and to help reduce environmental pollution starting in one of the most attractive places in Bac Kan and in the region. “I believe that a small action that could impact many people”, said Mr Nghia. Collectively, it would contribute to preserve the beautiful and richly endowed nature of the lake by removing the use of diesel and carbon emission which together are causing water and air pollution in the lake. Compared to the diesel boats that are widely used in the lake, the solar boat produces no carbon emission and has almost zero noise. For tourists, nothing is better than going around the largest fresh water body in South East Asia on a quiet and environmental friendly vessel. The boat has been tested by tourists in Ba Be and received the attention and excitement from them. Running at around 6 km/h, slower than the 25 km/h speed of the diesel counterpart, the solar boat gives the tourists a more leisured trip to fully capture the breath-taking scenes of the islands, the rocks, the water and the trees and to be completely absorbed in the nature that is more ancient than anyone of us.
The solar boat was received with excitement and enthusiasm at Ba Be lake
The environmental friendly yet tourist luxury goes hand in hand the with economic benefits. The solar boat has a slightly higher first-time investment cost by approximately 20 million VND compared to the diesel boat. But in the long run, the renewable solar energy proves to be superior than fossil fuel. Variable cost of a solar boat is much lower than diesel. Photovoltaic cells can last up to 18 years and the energy supply from the sun is endless. Boat owners can customize the speed of the boat, with an increase of 3 KW battery, the speed will increase by 20 percent.
Mr Nghia with his solar boat at Ba Be lake
The process of making this boat has been a tremendous learning journey for Mr Nghia and his students. For Mr Nghia, it was the chance for him to put into practice what he had been trained throughout the courses supported by Project VIE/034 on clean energy. His expertise has sharpened and his skills have been tested and upgraded with this initiative. Mastering the knowledge on clean energy and being able to transfer it to students is important, as a teacher of Electricity at BKVC. The learning lesson for both the teacher and the students is twofold. First, it instils and strengthens the awareness and responsibility for environmental protection by creating a product that serves the preservation of a place that is so close-to-heart. Second, making the boat is a valuable hands-on practice experience for the students where they were learning by doing. Students were very excited and enthusiastic in the process of making the boat. They had the chance to deeply engage with technology that is on-demand worldwide. They also carried an important mission of saving the nature that they are having. The initiative brought to them an upgrade to their vocational skills to serve with a purpose. Together with the country and the world, promoting the use of clean and green energy is crucial at both local and global level for the future of all lives on Earth. It should start from each individual, each student, each teacher and each school like BKVC.
Mr. Vu Xuan Nghia with his solar car
Going into the future, Mr Nghia hopes to make a second version of the boat which has a totally new body made of composite instead of iron in the current boat. He imagines that since the boat then would be lighter and leaner, it would definitely increase the speed range and aesthetically appear more appealing to tourists. The new version would be an excellent teaching tool for both Electricity and Tourism. And the practicality of it would make the dream of turning all the boats at Ba Be into solar closer to reach. Ba Be then, would become a place for people to visit not only for the spectacular sceneries but also for the pioneering work of using clean energy to develop green tourism in the region.
VIETNAM - Calling in the ExpertsHue Tourism College Assists Bac Kan Vocational College to Review Tourism Curriculum
On 21st of May 2019, Ms Tran Thi Bach Mai, Vice-Director of the Job Placement Centre and instructor specialising in hotel and reception trades, together with Ms Hoang Thi Nhu Hong, Head of the catering trade of Hue Tourism College, visited Bac Kan in order to assist the teachers of Bac Kan Vocational College (BKVC) in reviewing the new tourism curriculum.
The workshop on reviewing the tourism curriculum was conducted in the presence of Hue Tourism College, Bac Kan Vocational College and the owner of a home stay in Ba Be district.
With more than 20 years of experience, Hue Tourism College is one of the top 10 vocational education and training colleges in Vietnam. Through their vocational training programs, they provide skilled human resources for the tourism and hospitality industry in Vietnam. Currently, Hue Tourism College owns 2 training facilities and 1 practical centre named Villa Hue amounting to a total area of more than 17,000 square meters in the heart of the imperial city. Moreover, the school is presently building 3 additional facilities with a total land area of 20 hectares in Huong Thuy district, 7 km to the south, located on the outskirts of the city.
Villa Hue – the practical centre for students of the Hue Tourism College was funded by Luxembourg
Between 1999 and 2013, Hue Tourism College received financial support and technical assistance from Luxembourg, aimed at the construction of facilities and the capacity building of teachers. This linkage facilitated the cooperation between Hue Tourism College and Bac Kan Vocational College, which is receiving similar support from Luxembourg. Ever since BKVC has sent 4 of their teachers to join a three-month training course in tourism services organised by Hue Tourism School, the two colleges enjoy and maintain a close partnership.
Ms Tran Thi Bach Mai, Vice-Director of the Job Placement Centre and instructor specialised in hotel and reception trades, added her comments on the curriculum.
Since the signing of a cooperation agreement with BKVC in 2018, the management of Hue Tourism College has supported BKVC in the opening of a tourism trade and the design of an outcome-based curriculum. In the workshop, the teachers of BKVC presented and defended the content of their curriculum, which resulted from the training course in Hue Tourism College, in front of the appraisal committee.
Endowed with rich natural resources, picturesque landscapes and the largest fresh water lake in South–East Asia, the tourism industry has the potential to become a key constituent of future economic development in Bac Kan province. As such, Hue Tourism College will continue to assist Bac Kan Vocational College in their development of tourism occupation programs.
VIETNAM - Students at Bac Kan College Overcome Challenges in Life and ThriveA story of Truong Thi Diem
Ms. Truong Thi Diem is a student K6 of the agroforestry faculty at Bac Kan Vocational College. She is one out of four siblings from a Tay ethnic family. After her mother's death, her father became the sole breadwinner of the family. Forced to work night and day to support his four kids and ensure their schooling, he is now growing old and weak. Being the oldest sister, Diem soon took her father’s role. The family situation made it difficult for the girl to pursue higher education after high school. Nevertheless, she did not give up her dream of studying. Limiting herself to only working part time, she divided her time wisely and managed to enrol in the veterinary clinic trade of the agroforestry faculty at Bac Kan Vocational College. She has poured herself into work and studied harder than ever before. She was soon rewarded with an opportunity to work in a veterinary store as a saleswoman and consultant. Not only did this fulfil her desire to work in the field she is most passionate about, but it also gave her the opportunity to apply what she learned at school. After finishing her studies, she continued to work for several years in order to save enough money to run her own business. Now, she has become a successful owner of a veterinary shop and a small-sized pig farm. She is now able to back her family financially, all the while creating jobs for the poor farmers in her community.
Like many other disadvantaged graduates, Ms. Diem has overcome her adversities to lead a happy and successful life
At present, Diem is the owner of a veterinary shop and a small-sized pig farm
Access to gainful employment is part of the efforts of the project Bac Kan, Technical and Vocational Education and Training - Phase II, VIE/034. The project aims to promote employment and livelihood development in line with the economic opportunities and the local sociocultural context in northern Vietnam.
VIETNAM - Students at Bac Kan College Overcome Challenges in Life and Thrive A story of Hoang Van Khoi
90% of the students of Bac Kan Vocational College (BKVC) originate from mountainous ethnic minority groups and an underprivileged background in terms of livelihood. Nevertheless, they have overcome their adversities, made great effort to study at the vocational college with the yearning to have a successful career after graduation. Many of them are able not only to make a living for themselves, but also to support their families. On top of that, some even create employment opportunities for their own clusters.
Students of Electricity faculty are acquiring skills on diagnosing and repairing electrical equipment
Mr. Hoang Van Khoi is 25 years old and is an exceptionally inspirational example of how strength, dedication and hard work can lead anyone to overcome any tough obstacles in life and achieve great things. Because of unfortunate life circumstances, he was adopted by his uncle at a very young age. Yet, life did not cease to throw stones at Khoi, and at the age of 12, his poor uncle, not able to further provide for him, had to give him up and send him to the provincial orphanage centre. After completing grade 9, he decided to enrol in the metal - cutting occupation, Mechatronics faculty at BKVC. Throughout his three years of training, he showed tremendous dedication and application and gained competent technical skills and capabilities. Mr. Bui Thanh Binh, Deputy of Mechanical Engineering faculty of BKVC and his home room teacher praised Khoi for his hard working attitudes as a student. “Khoi paid great attention during the lectures and showed intensive efforts both in the theoretical and practical sessions. He is aware that education and employment are the only sustainable ways to thrive, and he makes it right.” Upon graduation, Khoi was quickly employed as a mechanical engineer in Bac Ninh province, southern from Bac Kan province. He recently returned to his home town to build his own house, get married and start a family.
Mr. Hoang Van Khoi (on the left) gained decent employment upon graduation from BKVC
He recently returned to his home town and started his new family life.
Access to gainful employment is part of an ongoing effort of the Project Bac Kan, Technical and Vocational Education and Training - Phase II, VIE/034. The project goal is to promote employment and livelihood development in line with the economic opportunities and the local sociocultural context in northern Vietnam.
VIETNAM - Inauguration of the new Agro - Forestry Faculty building at Bac Kan Vocational College
On 28th of February 2019, the official opening ceremony of the new agro-forestry building at Bac Kan Vocational College was held with the ribbon-cutting by Mr. Sam Schreiner, Chargé d’Affaires, Luxembourg Embassy in Laos and Mr. Pham Duy Hung, Vice – chairman of Bac Kan Provincial People’s Committee, Vietnam.
Attending the inauguration, were the provincial agencies, international experts and national consultants, college management, Vocational College, delegation from the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives of the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency and the representative of Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Hanoi.
The ribbon cutting ceremony of the new agro - forestry building at Bac Kan Vocational College
The agro-forestry sector is considered a key economic constituent in Bac Kan province. Vocational training attached with local advantages is seen as an effective solution to ensure the quality of vocational training courses in Bac Kan. Because the majority of labor force in the province are agro-forestry labourers, therefore it was very reasonable for the province to organize training classes in fields of farming, animal husbandry and processing agricultural and forest products. Hence the development of an agro-forestry occupations program received major attention by the management of Bac Kan Vocational College and technical and financial support of project VIE/034. Initially during the first phase of Luxembourg support to Bac Kan College the agro-forestry faculty did not receive any investment. Starting with Phase II discernible investment both in terms of facility upgrading as well as capacity building of teachers and staff is being made. In 2018, the project continued to fund the construction of a new building for the agro-forestry faculty with the intention to provide additional facilities to satisfy an increasing demand for trainings in this trade. The investment is in line with the Master plan on socio-economic development of Bac Kan province to 2025 and BKVC Strategic Plan for Development 2016-2026.
Construction in progress for the new agro forestry faculty building
In June 2018, the construction started from scratch and was completed in December 2018. The building consists of classrooms, offices, a tissue culture room, a veterinary practice room as well as a laboratory.
The inauguration coincided with the Steering Committee Meeting of the project VIE/034, in which the project activities of the year 2018 were reviewed and evaluated, and the work plan of 2019 approved. During the meeting, the Committee defined the agro-forestry occupation and faculty as one of the key areas of support by the project and further developed by the Bac Kan Vocational College.
Bac Kan province is located in the northeast of Viet Nam in centre of the Vietbac region, about 170 km to the north of Hanoi and about 200 km south of the border with China. The topography of Bac Kan province is complex with many valleys, hill and rocky mountains with average slope of 26°. The population of Bac Kan province is 320 000, with the main ethnic communities being Tay, Kinh and Dao. Agriculture and forestry are the main sources of livelihoods. Forest coverage is high ~70-71% compared to the country average of 39.1%. Bac Kan is one of the poorest provinces in Viet Nam (poverty rate of 36.6% compared to country average of 13.4%). It is also a recipient of the UN-REDD program.
VIETNAM - Bac Kan Province Delights Local Small Business Owners with Demand Driven Tourism English Programme
Located in Nam Mau commune – Ba Be district, Ba Be Lake and National Park is 70km from the center of Bac Kan province and covers more than 7,600 ha with almost half of this area is strictly protected and off the beaten track. There is a huge amount to explore there, with a vast variety of flora and fauna, as well as interesting geology and landscapes to discover.
The lake itself is actually three small lakes joined together – Pe Lam, Pe Lu and Pe Leng. The area is a national preserved forest and tourist centre and a national park. It is recognised by UNESCO as a Ramsar site in Vietnam - an important wetland of the world. Located 145m above the sea level, the lake has an average depth of 20-25m and its deepest part is 35m. The lake bed is made up of limestone with millions of crags and crevasses that are ideal for a large variety of marine life - there are over a hundred of species of freshwater fish in the lakes.
The Ba Be National Park, home of Tay, Dao and Hmong minorities has been the most visited destination in Bac Kan province by both Vietnamese and international tourists. According to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Bac Kan welcomed more than 300,000 tourists in the first 6 months of 2018, of which 10,500 were foreigners.
To attract more foreign tourists by providing them with the market-driven tourism products and improve the quality of tourism services, the district government and homestay owners in Pac Ngoi & Bo Lu villages who constitute the major tourism labor force in Ba Be National Park decided to improve their tourism English skills but it seemed a big challenge when they had to travel at least 4 hours to the city back and forth on their motorcycle to attend evening classes while being busy with their family lives and family business.
Pac Ngoi class – Working in pairs and groups simulating participation in tourism activities
A demand-driven tourism English course has been tailored and funded to meet the needs of the local government and villagers in Ba Be to enable its learners to communicate in English and strengthen their capacity of providing tourism services of better quality.
The 3-month on-site training which is divided into two modules will allow 56 homestay owners and boat drivers to identify and achieve simpler goals more easily. The people’s committees of Nam Mau and Pac Ngoi villages have contributed the use of community house to facilitate the training classes 3 nights a week.
Bo Lu class – Listening to the instructions and monitoring self-progress
“This is a great opportunity for Ba Be tourism, especially Pac Ngoi and Bo Lu villages. We do hope that, after the course supported by the project VIE/034, our citizens will be able to communicate effectively with foreign tourists as well as be able to provide higher standard services responding to the market-oriented requirements”, said Ms. Hang – Nam Mau commune chairperson, on the launching day of the training, 23rd August 2018.
Vietnam - Galaxy English Center, catalyst of change
With the rapid growth of English language learners in Bac Kan province, the Bac Kan Vocational College team, with encouragement and support from the Project VIE/034, incubated a new start-up enterprise - the Galaxy English Center – which was launched in early June 2018 to serve the increasing demand for English language training among the local community. The English language program has proved to be an instant success. Thanks to the use of social media as a marketing tool, more than 20 students enrolled just 2 days after launch and the number has been increasing rapidly ever since. The learner age group ranges from 8 to 15 although there are also working adults on the waiting list. To cater for the additional demand, more teachers are being recruited.
The English language program team is composed of people who work closely and collaboratively to serve the expanding demand for English language training within the local community. They commit to ensuring that each student reaches their desired level in English language learning.
The high number of enrollments, 86 as of today with more than 28 on an admission waiting list, is proof of the satisfaction with the center’s services.
The Centre makes learning English language fun through games and most activities are designed to stimulate imagination and instill self confidence among learners. Substantial progress has been made in a short period of time as students are enjoying this interactive form of learning as it broadens their horizons and helps them to grow as a person.
The newly established Center is still growing and is continuously being refined and improved.
Monitoring the learner’s progress to ensure quality learning
Nothing beats teamwork
Participating in activities to increase confidence in openly speaking English
Two Bac Kan Vocational College representatives attended a course in Turin, Italy
With the support of VIE/034 project, on 16th to 21st April 2018, two representatives of Bac Kan Vocational College (BKVC) attended a course organized by the International Training Center of the International Labour Organization (ITC ILO) in Turin, Italy. The “Skills needs anticipation and matching” course is designed to provide basic knowledge to identify current and future skills needs and labour market imbalances within a broad policy framework.
Specialists and managers from various countries and international organizations participated in this course. Mr. Long Tien Trinh and Mr. Hung Duy Pham, two Vietnamese representatives from BKVC, said this was an invaluable experience since it enabled them to engage in a multicultural environment and learn from international participants.
Organising the working groups
Lecturers were experts from ILO, European Training Foundation (ETF) and the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop). There were four ninety-minute sessions every day. ITC ILO used the “Turin Learning Approach” for the course which facilitated discussions, explorations and knowledge exchange with experts and fellow participants.
Listening to other groups' presentations
During these activities, all participants were free to talk and find out more about the prevailing cultures, policies and labour markets in other countries. Furthermore, according to Mr. Hung, the course also presented the opportunity to widen their networks and connections which could potentially last well beyond the course and lead to new partnerships and collaborations.
Mr Hung’s presentation on anticipating the skills needed in Bac Kan
The representatives from BKVC, Vietnam participated in the course with great enthusiasm and commitment to change. Their presentation at the endof the course was well received and very much appreciated. The training materials (see the above photo) provided by the course are now available at the BKVC library for sharing and consultation by BKVC management, faculty, and staff.
Final presentations from various groups
Vietnam - Tackling Climate Change at Bac Kan Vocational College
Vietnam is ranked among the countries most affected by climate change. This, in effect, is jeopardizing the country’s sustainable development. In an effort to support Vietnam's mitigation and adaptation efforts to climate change impacts, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation is implementing its climate change adaptation flagship project – VIE/033, in the lagoon areas of Thua Thien Hue province. After initial positive results from the first phase, a second phase of this project is about to start (VIE/433) in 2018 with funding from the Luxembourg “climate finance”, under the umbrella of the Luxembourg Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure.
Currently, Bac Kan Vocational College (BKVC) has been seeking and exploring climate change related occupations in the climate change vocational education/training context. So far, the school has initiated a solar energy program by installing and operating solar panels at the electrical faculty. Greening the campus is also an activity that will lead to better mitigate climate change by maximizing green spaces, as well as reducing the carbon footprint through water, energy and printed-paper saving.
The visit of the LuxDev Headquarter Climate Expert, was very timely for project VIE/034 and BKVC to focus more on the current provincial climate change issues and call for action to all key players from provincial policy makers to grassroots level.
The climate expert meeting Vice Chairperson, Bac Kan Provincial People's Committee
On 27 November 2017, the expert met and exchanged information with the provincial authorities, departments, a national climate consultant and BKVC staff. Through these working sessions and group discussions on climate change issues with the project team and other provincial stakeholders, the expert gained an overview of the current situation of climate change mitigation and adaptation activities in Bac Kan and other northern mountainous provinces.
As stated by an officer from the Bac Kan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, though climate change impacts in Bac Kan are less severe than in the Mekong Delta or central coastal areas, the province has recently endured severe weather phenomena with an increased occurrence of flash floods and landslides.
Moreover, with the high forest cover of 70%, including 283 000 hectares of primary forests; the province is facing issues of illegal logging, overexploitation of non-timber forest products, and resulting deforestation. The decreasing water level in main rivers and streams of the province recorded in the past few years, including Cau River, is also an emerging challenge for the province.
Example of locally well-managed forests in Bac Kan province
Many other projects are implemented to support Bac Kan to tackle climate change issues. At this time, Bac Kan is one of the six pilot provinces in Vietnam to implement the UN-REDD initiative (REDD - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). In addition, as a part of the UN-REDD project, the province is working on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification to ensure that the timber comes from a forest that is managed in a responsible way by local people. However, most of the funding for climate activities comes from the central government and foreign organizations. “Bac Kan is a poor province; therefore, the provincial budget is prioritized for economic development activities rather than climate change mitigation and adaptation”, said the Vice Director of Bac Kan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
At the meeting with BKVC, the LuxDev climate expert identified the needs of Bac Kan province and local communities in strengthening sustainable and legal forest management, as well as promoting sustainable livelihoods for forest-dependent communities. His recommendations pointed towards the linking the province to central ministries in order to foster Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). This is because, in May 2017, the European Union (EU) and Vietnam formally concluded their negotiations towards a Voluntary Partnership Agreement after six years of negotiations, which will enable Vietnam to issue FLEGT licenses to products it exports to the EU. The FLEGT licenses intend to end illegal logging, which causes deforestation (which causes land erosion), loss of biodiversity, conflicts with indigenous and local populations, and assist local governments to implement sustainable forest management.
For BKVC, as a human resource training centre, one suggestion is to explore ways and means to transform the Vocational College into a provincial hub that links climate change mitigation and adaptation activities with the needs of the province and local communities.
According to a member of the VIE/034 project management team, with the main function of vocational training and education, BKVC needs to build capacity among its teaching staff for them to deliver training on climate resilient agricultural techniques for farmers, and increase knowledge and skills on new initiatives such as FLEGT or REDD+ for community groups. Moreover, via VIE/034, which is promoting BKVC’s education programs on community tourism, or safe and organic agriculture production, the contribution to the provincial climate change mitigation and adaptation is highly appreciated by the school and local communities.
The LuxDev climate expert’s mission to Bac Kan has motivated the College as well as the provincial counterparts to develop further initiatives on how to approach the impact of climate change in their home province.
BKVC’s Tan Son safe agricultural model – A model working for sustainable livelihoods of indigenous people living around the primary fores
Vietnam - Bac Kan Vocational College - Partner in promoting organic farming in Bac Kan province
In recent years, Vietnamese families have increasingly opted for organic and healthy food. Aware of this trend, Bac Kan Vocational College (BKVC) embarked on a new intervention with the support of project VIE/034 to promote organic and clean agricultural production by offering training courses for the farmers of Tan Son commune in Cho Moi district. The training is aimed at guiding farmers in growing organic vegetables, applying standardized processes and measures to ensure the produce meets the standards. Besides funding the construction of a lightweight protective growing facility covering a 660m2 area to be used as a demonstration and practice site, project VIE/034 also sought professional technical support from PUM, a Senior Expert organization from the Netherlands, to help BKVC in developing and upgrading the training curricula for agricultural trades.
Safe agricultural production project in Tan Son commune
During the PUM expert’s two-week mission from 16 to 28 October 2017, former Director of De Groene Welle Vocational Training College in the Netherlands, visited the local agricultural cooperatives, agro-forestry production models including Tan Son project, tree nurseries and safe food stores. The discussions with the teachers of BKVC Agro-Forestry faculty and the farmers provided him with sufficient insight on the agricultural sector and agricultural vocational training of Bac Kan. The director of BKVC shared that currently they are studying the feasibility of growing, on a larger scale, a special indigenous tomato variety that is currently exclusively grown by Dao ethnic people, in the effort to market this new variety. BKVC is capable of offering a specialized program for interested producers.
Visits to local agricultural cooperatives
The director of Sa Ha cooperative introducing the local “Bo khai” vegetable (Erythropalum scandens)
Beside field visits, the expert also experienced local tourism to Ba Be Lake (Three Lakes) in Ba Be National Park, the largest natural fresh water lake in Viet Nam. The expert learnt of the great potential for community based tourism which is still underexploited today. At the end of the mission, the workshop “Vocational training in association with developing safe agricultural production models in Bac Kan province” was held to present the findings and recommendations for improving training programs of the Agro-Forestry faculty. During the workshop, the participants including representatives of local authorities, farmers, cooperatives and enterprises also had a chance to listen to multiple experiences and professional consultations about how to promote organic farming in Bac Kan province, as well as how to create a value chain and build better linkages between farmers and markets. The workshop ignited an inspired and motivated discussion among the participants and signaled more aligned synergy for future development of the agricultural sector in the province. The issue of sustainable ecotourism in combination with agriculture was also raised by the expert and attracted a lot of interest.
The PUM expert presenting his findings and recommendations from the field trip in Bac Kan
“Thanks to the support from VIE/034, I had chance to attend a workshop in Moscow and learned about the Industry 4.0 in education. I realized that the Industry 4.0 will bring both opportunities and challenges for everyone, including farmers. BKVC should thus update its training programs in order to adapt to the development trends because agricultural and rural development is a main focus of Bac Kan province. As a training centre, BKVC will try its best to meet educational requirements and become a center of excellency for high quality agro-forestry education with the support from the Luxembourg development cooperation”, remarked the director of BKVC.
The VIE/034 Project Coordinator added: “BKVC plays a key role in promoting agricultural production and organic farming in the province. In the second phase of Luxembourg’s support to the school, project VIE/034 has paid more attention to the Agro-Forestry faculty. The project has found reliable partners in the agricultural sector, including PUM from the Netherlands. I hope that contributions shared in the workshop today will be valuable in forming a relationship between PUM and BKVC and I hope that the school will strengthen its cooperation with PUM not only in agro-forestry field but also in the field of eco-tourism and other sectors”.
As the result of the mission, the PUM expert promised that his institution will provide continued cooperation and assistance by sending more subject experts to train BKVC teachers on organic farming, plant diseases, agricultural economics, and aquaculture in combination with horticulture. Both sides will work together to plan a detailed training schedule and training program which is expected to take place in 2018.
Combined garden of seedless persimmon and bo khai vegetable (Erythropalum scandens)
Meeting with local farmers
Vietnam – Record-breaking intake at Bac Kan Vocational College 257 new students enrolled for the 2016-17 academic year on Admission Day – 5 September 2016
Bac Kan Vocational College (BKVC), previously known as Bac Kan Intermediate Vocational School, was funded by Luxembourg Development Cooperation under project VIE/021 from 2007-2011 and now continues to receive support for a second phase. Starting with only two departments, it currently offers a wide range of training programmes, including electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, construction, agro-forestry, IT, as well as accounting and has seen increasing numbers of students over the years.
Since early 2016, the BKVC Recruitment Centre kicked off a multimedia blitz advertising campaign covering Bac Kan television, newspapers and banners displayed in district schools. They organised career orientation days at almost all secondary schools in the province and visited potential students’ families in villages. Prospective students were also invited to BKVC for a campus tour, from which they had a chance to see for themselves what BKVC has to offer in terms of not only training programmes but also the living and studying environment.
On 5 September, secondary school graduates and their parents from all districts in Bac Kan province gathered at BKVC campus for Admission Day. A mixed feeling of nervousness and excitement was easily discerned on those young faces who are about to part from their parents and family home for the first time in their life. Carrying backpacks or bags of various shapes and sizes, they queued in line for their turn to register. Students who already made a decision over what to study simply filled in the enrolment form, submitted and then waited to be taken to their dormitory. There are also consultation desks where dedicated faculty members gave helpful advice and guidance to still-undecided students.
After finishing the paperwork, students got together in a hall for an introduction session to BKVC. The college’s Director, Mr Trinh Tien Long, provided students with information about different policies, support and conveyed a bright outlook, further solidifying their confidence in the choices they made and ensuring the time they will be spending on campus will be a rewarding experience.
Admission procedures did not cease until the end of the day. Results showed that recruitment efforts have paid off. Total number of new enrolment was reported to have reached 257 – the highest enrolment ever recorded on an admission day and more are expected to follow. The most enrolled occupations include automotive engineering, veterinary and mechanical technology. Recruitment activities will continue until the end of 2016 with support of the VIE/034 project in order to reach the target of 440 new students.