Does Vietnam Have A Good Education System?

Mark Zuckerberg has said, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks”. Education is always the priority of every nation, including Vietnam, whether it is developing or not. Being a student in Vietnam for nearly 12 years has made me have some realization about the quality of education here. 

Vietnam has a good education system, but some things need to be changed or adjusted.  Sometimes, too much theory without practical knowledge or experience in learning in our education system has led to some mistakes during teaching and training students in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training is also attaching special importance to education with much effort in innovation. This year, the U.S News has announced an educational ranking of countries globally, and Vietnam’s education is standing at 64 out of 80, which was worse than expected. So, after all that effort in changing and changing, why has Vietnam not reached any turning-point? 

Below are my top 3 ways that I feel Vietnam’s Education system should be improved.  

#1 Lack of practical knowledge

Vietnamese education is now attaching special importance to theory without providing practical knowledge. Teachers often put more stress on philosophy than interaction and discussions during the classes. 

The improvements in the Ministry of Education and Training during the periods of ministers are always the situation. The general education program is extremely dogmatic, complicated, and inhibits the creativity of learners, which implies that the curriculum cannot support students to acquire critical and logical thinking skills. 

Students must learn more than ten subjects, including Maths, Literature, Geology, Chemistry, even though this knowledge is not beneficial for them in the future. Moreover, maintaining an exclusive set of textbooks has diminished the imagination of both learners and educators. 

Based on a preliminary analysis of 234 teachers’ survey responses, 17 in-depth interviews, and 208 lesson plans, the research of Mrs. Lieu Thi Bich Tran, Department of Educational Management, University of Education, Vietnam National University in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2016 investigated Vietnamese and foreign upper secondary school mentors’ attitudes and methods of teaching for creativity. 

Teachers are not creative and even do not know how to harness the creativity of the students, which results in an actual state that Vietnamese students are not innovative and their imagination skill is neglected. 

#2 Assessment based on paper examination result

Vietnam’s education is based mainly on paper examination results. Not only about the curriculum, but the quality of general education can also only be assessed primarily on grading, graduation exam results, admission to colleges and universities, national and international excellent student contests.

The forms of examinations and tests are still heavy and overloaded, so that pupils need to learn by heart the theory to sit an examination.

We can easily capture the image of students staying up late all night to study or learn the whole curriculum again before the exams everywhere in Vietnam. Hence, the number of learners cheating in the examinations is increasing every year.

According to Youth Newspaper, 84,6%, 400 out of 500 of the students interviewed admit rigging in the national examination in 2012. Vietnam’s education system usually focuses on input, relaxing the output, not following a rigorous, scientific and objective process.

As a result, in some cases, the results are based on achievements, not yet properly assessing the quality of students. Some pupils still failed the exams because their answers are not the same as the textbooks.

Evaluating the quality of general education only follows general criteria, not grasping accurate and systematic information about achievements after graduation and improving their life skills.  

#3 Cannot respond to the labor market

Students in Vietnam are not prepared for the labor market. In Vietnam, students tend to study what their parents want their children to learn; so students in Vietnam student the natural sciences, and ignore social sciences and cultural arts.

Therefore, the ability to diversify in their future career is ineffective. The content of general knowledge is heavy on academic theory, with a lack of application practice.

Students lack time to exercise or any entertainment. This does not allow them to apply what they have learned to real life. Consequently, the majority of new university graduated students are usually unable to find work due to a lack of soft skills that are not taught in Vietnamese schools.

Therefore, according to Forbes, the number of students in higher education in Vietnam grew from around 133,000 students in 1987 to 2.12 million students by 2015. However, Vietnam’s unemployment rate was 3.10 % in December 2018. From this actual data, it can be seen that our education does not meet the demand of businesses.

Harvard researchers Vallely and Wilkinson in 2008 “described the Vietnamese education system as being in a state of crisis, characterized by international isolation, a lack of high-quality universities, inadequate foreign language training, bureaucratic obstacles, and curricula that do not prepare students for entry into the labor force.”

It can be found that schools and universities in Vietnam do not provide students with enough skills and knowledge to respond to the requirements of companies, which leads to the high unemployment rate in our country.

All in all, I believe that the Vietnamese education system should be modified for a better future. 

When I found reference sources for this post, I came across numerous pictures of the Central African Republic, where the educational level is deficient. The whole country is plunged into poverty and social issues with images of poor children, epidemic diseases, and disasters. 

That was the moment when I realized how the demise of an education dragged a nation down. Time is priceless while only one mistake in education can make a country miss its footing.

Vietnam cannot continue keeping those old-fashioned methods if we don’t want to be left behind for hundreds of years by other countries. That is the reason why I believe Vietnam should change the Vietnamese education system.

I am a student, a child, as well as a change-maker. Our country may face failures, but every mistake will bring us closer to bad education. Let’s make changes and improve our education!

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