In recent decades, both India and Vietnam have successfully expanded access to schooling to near-universal levels and have shifted their focus to quality-oriented policy reform. Yet, international and national evidence shows strongly contrasting learning profiles for children within the two systems. Simple indicators of numeracy suggest similar learning levels in both countries for 5-year-olds, but data suggest that, by the time they are 15, Vietnamese pupils outperform those in many OECD countries, while many pupils in India fail to master even the most basic skills. This article examines evidence from the Young Lives longitudinal surveys for Vietnam and the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on the diverging learning profiles of children in the light of their socioeconomic, cultural, and educational contexts. It considers various explanations for this divergence, including recent education policies, and highlights potential areas for cross-country policy learning.
Keywords: Education systems; Learning profiles; School quality; Vietnam; India; Value-added
Caine Rolleston and Zoe James (2015) 'After Access: Divergent Learning Profiles in Vietnam and India', Prospects: Quarterly Review of Comparative Education, early online publication.