Vietnam at a Glance
Education in Vietnam
The Vietnamese Education System
There are five stages in Vietnam’s education system:
- Higher education
In Vietnam, children enjoy 12 years of basic education on a half-day basis before they move on to college or university or begin to work.
Education plays a central role in Vietnam. Not only is the devotion to study one of society’s core values, but education is, of course, also perceived as a chance of advancement. There are huge educational needs for Vietnam’s young ones, and the public school system cannot always satisfy them. In general, families invest a lot of time and money to send their children to a good school and ensure they will have a bright future.
Quality of Education
Just like the healthcare sector, the education sector could strongly benefit from reforms. This is specifically the case in higher education institutions which are not always up to international standards and are thus often not able to offer a well-rounded education.
Outdated teaching methods are one of the main issues. Teachers often focus more on discipline in the classroom than on lively discussions and interaction. Censorship and interference from the government are also still very common and make for a stifling teaching environment. Many Vietnamese children eventually graduate successfully. However, graduates who begin to work for international companies may need to be retrained.
Quality of Teaching
As mentioned above, the teaching quality in the classroom depends largely on the individual teacher. If you send your children to a Vietnamese school, they will be expected to be passively attentive and studious. To children who are used to teaching methods prevalent in Western countries this may come as a bit of a shock. After all, they may have gotten used to lively interaction in the class room.
Since public schools are often underfunded, they cannot offer all the subjects they should or would want to. For that reason, private language centers are in high demand. They offer English as a second language to students of all age groups who hope to improve their professional opportunities. Expats are often hired to teach these classes. Unfortunately, not every expat is qualified to teach and more often than not, these language courses lack severely in quality.
Safety and Security
In general, Vietnam is a safe country to travel to. Violent crimes are rather rare, and terrorist threats were also not common at the time of writing. However, foreigners are often the victim of pick pocketing and other petty crimes. In bigger cities where tourists like to gather, motorcyclists snatch purses, bags and cameras from pedestrians and cyclo passengers.
When you use public transportation, it is important that you only use cyclos (pedicabs) which are associated with hotels or restaurants. That way, you can be sure not to fall victim to robbers or kidnappers. Airport taxis (noi bai taxi) or official vehicles which are provided by your hotel are generally safe. In Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, the same rules apply as in any other city around the world: Be cautious and use your common sense.