HANOI-- I am here on behalf of U.S. Ambassador David Shear to celebrate the 15th Social Work Day. And I am pleased to be here to participate and see the experience, talent, and creativity in Vietnam's youth.
I represent the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and we are pleased to join in celebrating Vietnam Social Work Day. The participation in this conference of so many social work faculty, students, government officials and community partners exemplifies the great progress made in developing social work education and the profession of social work in Vietnam.
Though Social Work is a relatively new field of study in Vietnam, the country has made great strides in developing social work as a profession and implementing social work education programs. There are now more than 40 universities and colleges providing undergraduate social work training in the country, with more than 2,500 graduates. That is an impressive record. Decree 32, which outlined a 10-year general plan to develop a modern social welfare system for Vietnam, is ambitious and deserves full attention.
Last year, two universities, University of Labor and Social Affairs and Vietnam National University, started the first Master of Social Work programs in the country. USAID looks forward to further advances in social work in Vietnam.
Social work represents an integral part of USAID's programing around the world and we look forward to working in Vietnam to address significant issues that impact all areas of society. So, that's why I'm thankful for this opportunity to announce a new USAID-funded Social Work Education Enhancement Program. The program is a consortium comprised of San Jose State University, Vietnamese universities, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, Ministry of Education and Training, community stakeholders, and private sector partner, also from California -- Cisco Systems, Inc. The program's goal is to strengthen the capacity of Vietnam's higher education social work programs so as to deliver high quality education and prepare job-ready social workers.
Over three years, the partners will help develop and implement undergraduate social work policies and practices, develop competency-based, practical curricula, regional centers for excellence in social work education, and a leadership academy for social work faculty and administrators' reconfiguring their work in this evolution. These partners and Cisco look forward to creating a model for delivery of higher education content and technology networks to improve teaching and leadership skills, as well as communication and linkages between academic institutions and their partners.
USAID applauds Vietnam and students of Vietnam for the significant and rapid progress made in the development of social work in Vietnam and believes that this new program will complement and enhance such efforts.
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Last updated: January 21, 2015