Saturday, 18 Nov 2017

Bloomberg uncovers the hidden issues in Vietnam's education

Updated at Thursday, 24 Aug 2017, 10:16
The Hanoitimes - The famous financial paper has just published an article with title: "In Vietnam, the Best Education Can Lead to Worse Job Prospects".
During the whole article, Bloomberg reflects the problems of Vietnam education via 3 aspects: Reality, Pressure and New Program.
According to the online paper: "While Vietnam’s schools equip students with basic skills for low-wage assembly-line work, its colleges and universities are failing to prepare youth for more complex work. As wages rise and basic manufacturing leaves for less expensive countries, that may threaten the government’s ambition to attain middle-income status, defined by the World Bank as per capita income of more than $4,000, or almost twice the current rate."
“Countries that have been successful moving up to the next economic stage already had developed country levels of education when they were middle-income economies,” Scott Rozelle, a Stanford University development economist told Bloomberg. “Countries that didn’t have that collapsed or became stuck in the middle-income trap.”
 "Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan developed high-quality colleges long before their economies needed a more educated workforce, he said. Conversely, economies such as Argentina, Brazil and Mexico slowed after reaching middle-income status -- in part because of insufficient investments in education", Rozelle said. College students frequently spend much of their first two years learning about revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, socialism and party history at the expense of critical thinking and other skills expected by employers. The upshot: firms are reluctant to pay more for workers with degrees that often lack commensurate skills, says the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The jobless rate among young people with university degrees is 17 percent. More parents are now sending their children overseas to study to improve their work prospects. The number of Vietnamese studying in Japan, including language schools, grew more than 12-fold in the six years to May 2016, reaching about 54,000, according to the Japan Student Services Organization.
The paper has the paragraph: "Vietnam has expanded the number of colleges and universities across the nation over the last decade to about 450. The government plans to have 560,000 new students enter college and university in 2020, which will be about an 8 percent increase over 10 years. Despite the nation’s 97 percent literacy rate, just a third of Vietnam’s labor force had a high school degree last year, according to the Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs."
And at the end, Bloomberg said about new program which can bring potential solution for Vietnam education problems' ""There are some reasons for optimism. Fulbright University Vietnam, the first independent and non-profit institution approved by the government that received initial funding from the U.S. State Department, opens this fall, said Thuy Dam Bich, Fulbright’s president. Marxism will be taught as it would in western universities -- along with philosophers such as Hegel and Kant, she added."
 "Companies are also providing additional education to get workers up to speed. FPT Corp., the country’s largest listed telecom and technology company, has educational branches around the country for about 20,000 high school, college and university students. Intel Corp., which operates an assembly and test plant in Ho Chi Minh City, has committed to spending $22 million on several programs."
But for those stuck in the state system, education can be “a big waste of time and money,” said Luu Quang Tuan, deputy head of the Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs.
Being published right after the National  entrance exam to University, the article has sharp overview about Vietnamese education shortages.
Cam Anh
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