11/20/2017, 18.11
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Vietnam celebrates Teachers’ Day, but its educational system is in crisis

by Paul Hung Quoc

For critics, Vietnam’s education is too politicised and centred on producing graduates, and not enough on the moral training of younger generations. Forced by the regime to think a certain way, young people are unable to develop creative thoughts. The economic impact of an education at the service of the Communist Party is negative.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Vietnam’s schools today marked the 35th Teachers Day (20 November 1982 - 20 November 2017), an event centred on the country’s traditional cultural norm of reverence for teachers and morality (Tôn Sư Trọng Đạo).

Despite the country's recent achievements in developing its school system, its educational approach is too politicised and focused on producing graduates, ignoring the moral training of younger generations.

The focus should instead be on the human development of students whose creativity is limited by a rigid communist doctrine.

"If students get a high school education, but their morality is lacking, they will be of little help to their families and society,” university lecturer Hoàng Anh T told AsiaNews.

“They will only learn about consumerism and selfishness,” he lamented. “Conversely, if we want to make progress in the educational field, we must first pay attention to the human being."

According to government data released today, there are 236 universities in Vietnam with 73,000 lecturers and more than 16,000 professors.

The total number of university students is 1,767,879 in the current academic year, 105,801 of whom are master students and 15,111 are in PhD programmes. About 20 million pupils attend pre-school, elementary and high schools.

Vietnamese students are required to study the philosophy of Karl Marx and the thought of Ho Chi Minh, but the government denies them the opportunity to study other philosophies.

The purpose of socialist schools is to serve the government and what the schools teach is the "communist ideology".

Forced to follow the regime’s way of thinking, students are unable to develop creative ideas and understand the government’s misdeeds. This has a major impact on the development of the country, whose economy is currently stagnating.

"Vietnam's educational system is in a state of crisis that is affecting the philosophy of education and the methods of school management,” said Prof Nguyễn Khắc Mai, director of the Minh Triết Centre.

“Students, teachers and administrators are confused,” he added. “So, it is very difficult for Vietnam to develop its talents. Such a system will not help to develop positive elements for the nation."

For scholars at some universities in Ho Chi Minh City, "Education in Vietnam will only develop strongly when it truly respects human rights and the transfer of knowledge.”

“The aim of education is to meet the needs of students. This is the core of respect for human rights to build love of the country and the creativity of a nation."

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