Scholarship Program to Enhance Literacy and Learning
Program Overview

About the Program

The Scholarship Program to Enhance Literacy and Learning (SPELL) is a highly innovative education program designed to prevent poor students from dropping out of school. SPELL supports over 4,000 students in Vietnam, and is now being launched in India. The program targets students from the poorest 10% of impoverished families and provides them with funding for school fees, books, uniforms, and other expenses. It also mandates and pays for after-school tutoring.

The program starts with children in the third grade. Each student in the program is guaranteed a scholarship until graduation from high school, provided he or she remains in school. Today, EMW-administered SPELL programs are operating in seven provinces in central Vietnam, supporting students and families who are among the country’s poorest and most vulnerable.


Program Goals

  • Provide the poorest students from the poorest regions with greater opportunities and incentives to stay in school.
  • Reduce the levels of school dropout rates by providing full funding for students who otherwise cannot afford school.
  • Improve the quality of education for poor students from primary to high school in rural communities.
  • Encourage the participation and support of local communities in the education of impoverished students.
  • Increase the level of local involvement in the program in the following areas:
    • Schools. Increase the attention paid to low-income students by schools and assist students with below-average academic performances through tutoring.
    • Education authorities. Involve local education agencies and civic groups in monitoring each school’s implementation of the SPELL program.
    • Local government and agencies. Increase these groups' awareness of the area’s poorest and neediest families in preparation for selecting the SPELL scholarship recipients.
    • Parents. Improve parents' awareness of the importance of education and increase their focus on their children’s learning and health, which includes providing children with enough time for their homework.

Key Local Partner

EMW’s main local partner in Vietnam is the Study Promotion Association (SPA)(members pictured at right), which works to improve public education and reduce illiteracy. These groups work with educators and training departments to support students in all aspects of their studies to keep them from dropping out of school or repeating grade levels. SPAs also aim to make Vietnam and its citizens committed to a lifetime of learning.

SPAs are located at four levels—central government, provinces, cities, and communes. There are also SPA affiliates throughout the hamlets, schools, and other religious or public institutions. SPAs are dependent on funding from the government, but also receive private funding (international and domestic) to maintain their day-to-day operations. 

For more information about EMW please see our contact page.



SPELL India student DarkshaMeet Darksha Bano,
an 11th grade student in Uttar Pradesh, India, able to continue in school thanks to a SPELL scholarship.

Find out about the new SPELL Goes to College scholarship program.

SPA Da Nang Volunteer Thumbnail


Meet SPA volunteer Nguyen Chuoc who partners with SPELL to ensure educational opportunities reach Vietnam's poorest children.

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