Costly education project debacle causes loss in public confidence

Last update 08:15 | 11/05/2017
VietNamNet Bridge – Many educational projects capitalized at trillions of dong have failed, but negative consequences have affected generations of students.

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The new general education programming became a hot topic of discussion on education forums after MOET opened the draft frame curriculum for public opinion some days ago.

Many parents have expressed their concern that the new general education programming would once again fail like many other multi-trillion dong reform programs. If so, big money will be lost, while an entire generation of students will be spoiled.

Vietnamese students were once the ‘victims’ of the majoring-based classifying program initiated in 1993. Under the program, high-school students were classified into three groups. A-group were students majoring in natural sciences, while B-group comprised students majoring in technology and C-group social sciences.

Many educational projects capitalized at trillions of dong have failed, but negative consequences have affected generations of students.

In 1998, the program was eliminated when the Education Law was ratified by the National Assembly.

In 2003, the classifying program was re-activated, but with only two majoring groups, A & C. It was expected that 60 percent of students would choose A group and 40 percent C group. However, in fact, 90 percent of students chose A and only 10 percent chose C.

As the pilot program failed, MOET submitted another trial classifying program, under which there were two groups only for 10th and 11th graders, and four groups for 12th graders.

However, when the classification was put into large-scale application, three groups appeared, A, C and D, or the ‘basic group’.

Saying that MOET’s policies were ‘as changeable as the weather’, analysts said that MOET did not have firm argument when laying down the policies, but it did this by ‘feeling’.

In a report in August 2013, Dao Trong Thi, who was then chair of the NA’s Committee for Culture, Education, the Youth and Children, commented that the plan on classifying high school students did not succeed.

About 84 percent of students follow the D group, while only 14 percent follow the A group and 2 percent C group.

In HCMC, according to Nguyen Van Ngai, deputy director of the city education department, 90 percent of students chose to study basic subjects, and only a few the A group and almost no student chose C group.

Tran Trung Kien, former headmaster of Mac Dinh Chi High School, commented that in principle, MOET should have consulted with students and parents before creating the policies. However, MOET did not do this, but made the decision. As a result, the policies were not appreciated by students.

Do Ngoc Thong, deputy director of the MOET’s Secondary Education Department, admitted that the program on classifying students was ‘too rigid’, and that the three groups did not satisfy students’ aspirations.


Vietnamese people flock to higher education programmes

Parents oppose new educational model

Chi Mai

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This entry was posted in Cải cách giáo dục - Educational reform, Giáo dục - Education and tagged , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

One thought on “Costly education project debacle causes loss in public confidence

  1. The majoring-based classifying program is so stupid.

    I love almost all subjects but I had to choose B group (majoring in technology) in 2000s. My heart was broken. And perhaps many my friends were, too.

    Please, do not treat us like objects in your laboratory.

    Số lượt thích

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