09/19/2013, 00.00
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Vietnamese educational system, child of communist ideology, needs reform

by Paul N. Hung
Educators and teachers ask for "investment" and a "radical change" in mentality. Despite government proclamations, the level of education in the country is still lagging behind. The communist legacy prevails blocking a true global development of the system.

Hanoi ( AsiaNews ) - The Vietnamese education system, despite government proclamations, is still backward and a victim of a communist ideology that pervades at all levels . A real reform is needed that guarantees freedom of education and better conditions for teachers and student , a necessary step to make the country more competitive in future terms, at a cultural and professional level . Recently, the World Economic Forum ( WEF ) , in its report on " Global Competitiveness " 2013/14, ranked the Vietnamese schooling model in 67th place out of 148 countries , and 4th place among the ASEAN nations (Association that brings together 10 countries of South- east Asia), after Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia . However , these rankings are the result of data provided by the authorities and values ​​that do not correspond to the real level of education - warn teachers and educators - which is quite different.

When analyzing real data - particularly among graduates and doctoral candidates - Vietnam falls to 95th place out of 148 countries in the world and 7th out of the eight examined in ASEAN , also behind Cambodia. A confirmation of the poor reliability compared to the data provided by Vietnamese officials, in the face of an education system marked by anything but excellence.

According to the Hanoi government there are hundreds of thousands of students who can claim "xcellent" results. According to the data , in the year 2012/13 there were 24 thousand doctorates in philosophy , as well 9 thousand professors and associate professors. The highest number among the Asian nations, however, that contrasts with the fact that among the top 500 universities in the world none are Vietnamese .

The number of scientific publications between 1970 and 2011 ( 10,745 ) is much lower than in neighboring countries : 22% compared to Thailand , 27% in Malaysia and 11 in comparison with Singapore and 80 % of these were prepared in collaboration with foreign colleagues . Finally, even data on patents demonstrates Vietnam's backwardness with only 19 between 2000 and 2007, none in the calendar year 2011.

Experts and educators are calling for a plan to reform the school system not only looking at "financial investment" , but an improvement of professional ethics , teaching methods and radical change of mentality. Professor Them, of the National University of Hanoi, confirms the level of deterioration of education, caused by the "monopoly" of the system, the lack of professionalism , from the legacy of the communist ideology that persists today at all levels . "We must abandon lies and deceit, the teacher adds , and reformulate teaching methods, eradicate dogmatism and the communist mentality ."

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