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Vietnam targets 30 percent of students enrolling at vocational schools

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Only 10 percent of secondary school graduates go to vocational intermediate schools (2-year training), far below the 30 percent target. 

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Only 10 percent of secondary school graduates go to vocational schools 

 

In May 2018, the Prime Minister approved the plan on career education to general school students in 2018-2025, under which 30 percent of secondary school graduates would continue study at vocational schools. 

This means that secondary and high school gradutes would be divided into two tracks, either vocational school, or university and junior college.  

The issue has been discussed for a long time. Labor experts repeatedly warned that most students want to go to university and junior college after finishing general school, and this would lead to a lack of skilled workers for factories.

Under the 2005 Education Law, since the 2005-2006 academic year, the Ministryof Education and Training (MOET) has no longer organized a national secondary school final exam. As a result, nearly 100 percent of secondary school graduates registered to continue studying at high school. 

Educators then showed concern about the quality of students in high schools because it was easy to enroll with school records. Some years later, the state-owned high school entrance exam resumed.

The exam is organized in June, just days before the high school finals. It is considered the most stressful exam, especially for students in large cities, where a high number of students compete for one seat at a state-owned high school. 

More is said than done

It is estimated that there are 1.2 million secondary school graduates every year. There are four ways for graduates to follow. First, continuing study at high school. Second, going to vocational school. Third, following the continuing education program. Fourth, taking jobs to earn a living.

A report showed that in previous years, only 10 percent of secondary school graduates went to vocational schools. Later, when MOLISA (the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs) became the only ministry that maintains management over vocational schools, the figure increased slightly with 116,222 students going to vocational schools in 2015-2016.

However, the figure remains modest and analysts doubt that the proportion could be raised to 30 percent in three years as expected.

Most students still want to go to high school. The proportion is extremely high in large cities (75 percent in Hanoi and 77 percent in HCM City).

Analysts attribute the problem to tertiary education policies. As the door to universities and junior colleges has opened widely, students prefer following higher education to vocational schools. 

 

Source: VNN

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