As goes the saying: "The Vietnamese plant the paddy, the Khmer look at it, and the Lao listen to it". As soon as one crosses the border from Vietnam into Cambodia, the contrast between the 2 people becomes obvious. Geographically neighbors, but physically, culturally, socially so different. You see from space! The border shows almost perfectly the limit between the non irrigated Cambodian landscapes and the green Vietnamese fields.
Vietnam makes quick progress because the people are very active and take responsibility for the development of their village. There is no bridge so that the children could go to school safely? The people meet, money and labor are put together.
The issue is very sensitive. The Labor code in Vietnam is precise: not before the age of 15*. However everyone quickly observes that many children work much earlier than this.
To be sure: education is compulsory and in the relatively remote and poor areas where we work (the average income is there less than half the national figure), more than 99% children complete their primary eduication.