Vietnam’s Education System Revealed, 3 Important Facts

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Updated 2:08 am

Being raised in a Vietnamese household gives me a sense of education’s importance from a young age. A repeated daily routine that only consisted of at least nine studying hours is done while assuming that I would be successful in the future if my grades were high. 

Vietnam’s education system has various aspects that need to be improved, such as poor students’ mental health, grade inflation, old-fashioned curriculum, etc.

Here are my top 3 reasons why I feel Vietnam’s education system needs improvement.  


Grade Inflation in Vietnam is a huge problem. The Ministry of Education’s standard curriculum requires students to have lengthy schedules, homework, and shorter breaks at the public middle and high school than in Western countries. 

Most schools need students to finish 12 courses each year, meaning they must excel in both the Natural Science and Social Science fields if they strive for a perfect GPA or be on top of the class. 

While the National College Entrance Exam only allows students to take a maximum of six academic subjects that they want to specialize in, finishing all of the other ones that are not so interesting would still be required. 

For example, suppose a student wants to get into medical school. In that case, they only need to take the Math, Literature, English, Biology, and Chemistry exam and ace these particular subjects.

What is mentioned above has led to the Grade Inflation crisis. Most pupils could finish deciding on their specialized topic in grade 10 with teachers and families’ help. Therefore, for the next two years, they would not pay attention to any of the rest at all.

Students would come to teachers stating their intended specialized exam and frequently ask for a round-up or a make-up test. Surprisingly, teachers are so used to this that they started giving higher average marks than what these students deserve. In the end, the 12 subjects requirement is remarkably time-consuming and no longer effective.


According to recent research, 37% of Vietnamese university graduates cannot find a job due to inadequate soft skills, and 83% need a significant amount of real-world experience.

The number of people looking forward to graduating with a bachelor’s degree or planning for a master’s is rising dramatically due to more accessible access to education. That indeed indicates that the job market is fiercely competitive, resulting in thousands of students struggling to find work.

National Universities should consider renewing their curriculum by combining occupational skills training as a compulsory course effectively.

For example, at the British University of Vietnam, their students have three months of internship annually to build a strong network and enhance their skills before graduating. 

Moreover, professors create an engaging environment with team activities, presentations, or case studies throughout the classes. In this way, students could understand more about their major. Therefore they can also develop their interpersonal skills simultaneously, which is one of the main factors a recruiter seeks from a potential employee.


Most Vietnamese students suffer from poor health. This is due to the lack of time for them to get adequate exercise and sleep.

It is undeniable that education has been a booming business for every family to invest in for years. Because of this, Vietnamese pupils are expected to study hard; this is a long cultural issue and one that their parents emphasize.

Some of them are expected to become well-paid doctors though the real motivation is to honor the family instead of saving people.

The fear of failure, of not being the first-tier, daily crushes those students’ mentality and physical wellbeing. A survey conducted by Saigon’s Department of Education and Training revealed that 31% of the students experience stress, and 53.8% lack study motivation.

More than 20% are at risk of dropping out of school because of the study environment, family, and mental support shortage at schools. . This unspecified problem has highlighted the need for stress counseling at school.

If the Vietnamese schools had adequate stress counseling then, it would be easier for the school administration and the family to resolve any issues.

Overall, education is vital for anyone and everyone. Scores and numbers are essential, but that is not everything.

Vietnam has been showing great effort in developing and ensuring citizens’ access to education; however, further actions need to occur as soon as possible.

James Johnstone
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