Tag Archives: vietnam

Scan of education news: Asia

Photo: Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen

Photo: Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen

As we return from hiatus and schools in the US open their doors again, our latest scan looks over the recent education news in East Asia. This quick scan reveals a of variety concerns with the extent and quality of education. Reports include those focusing on the long-standing need to ensure that all school-age students are enrolled in and attend schools in Pakistan and the Philippines. Reports also address continuing attacks on girls and girls’ education in Afghanistan. Other reports describe what some have called a “problematic” college admissions process in Vietnam, and, even in South Korea, often touted as a high-performing system, there are concerns about changing populations, particularly in rural villages, and related school closings. Several broad efforts to improve education systems are also in the news, including a “blueprint” in Malaysia focusing on the quality of graduates, a “radical” school reform in Taiwan, a new education programme from the education and training ministry in Vietnam, and a general drive to improve education in Pakistan and prepare students for the knowledge economy.

Why 25 million children are out of school in Pakistan – The Express Tribune http://buff.ly/1LSObpr

#AkoSiDaniel Campaign Aims to Empower Children in the Philippines Through Education The World Post http://buff.ly/1JwTZPx

Girls’ education under attack: Over 100 Afghan schoolgirls poisoned Daily Pakistan http://buff.ly/1Ulu8o1

Vietnam’s education minister takes responsibility for problematic college admission process, Tuoi Tre News  http://buff.ly/1L2P7BW

As South Korean Villages Empty, More Primary Schools Face Closings, New York Times http://buff.ly/1KpZ0iG

Malaysian Education Blueprint focuses on quality of graduates – Minister, Astro Awani http://buff.ly/1O6Ib9O

Education and training ministry unveils new education programme – VietNam News http://buff.ly/1KFGhy6

Pakistan launches drive to improve education system, The Daily Times http://buff.ly/1Ulu47P

Creative demand: Taiwan says radical school reform will set it apart, Christian Science Monitor http://buff.ly/1Kq0sBz

Taiwan: Progressive Education Reform Unrepresented Nations And Peoples Organization, UNPO http://buff.ly/1L2SOrb

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Following up on test results in Vietnam

Photo: Dao Ngoc Thach

Photo: Dao Ngoc Thach

In this brief post we follow up with Duy Pham on the issue of testing in Vietnam. When we last spoke with Pham, who is a former Deputy Director of the Center of Educational Measurement, of the Institute for Education Quality Assurance, at Vietnam National University, and curent doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts Amhersthe explained that this year Vietnam introduced a new assessment that combined two purposes: high school graduation and university entrance.

The Ministry of Education and Training has released the results of the new assessment. The results show that the high school graduation rate dropped by 8% (from 99% in 2014 to 91% in 2015). According to Vietnam.net, “Of the 816,830 students who sat the high school examinations in July 68,700 failed, for a pass rate of 91.58 per cent, a 7.44 per cent decline compared to 2014 and some 6 per cent less than in 2012 and 2013. Students in high schools passed at a rate of 93.42 per cent while the pass rate for those in continuing education was 70.08 per cent.” Ministry officials attributed this drop in the pass rate to the increased quality of the new assessments.

For more information:

High school graduation ratio reached 91.58% nationwide (link in Vietnamese)

Educators lament as Vietnamese students score poorly in national English test

Educators say national-exam failure rate shows better discipline, less cheating

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Vietnam: Can one assessment meet the needs of all stakeholders?

20150707071925-edu-exam-questionVietnamese students surprised the world recently when it was revealed that they outperformed many other advanced countries on the PISA exam. According to a recent BBC article, “the country’s 15-year-olds scored higher in reading, maths and science than many developed countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.”

News of this achievement has received a great deal of media attention, however in an effort to learn more about recent developments in the Vietnamese education system today we reached out to Duy Pham, former Deputy Director of the Center of Educational Measurement, of the Institute for Education Quality Assurance, at Vietnam National University, and curent doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Pham explained that while the PISA exam has caught the attention of an international audience, the people of Vietnam have been wrapped up in a dynamic debate around high school graduation exams and university entrance exams.

This year, the Vietnam Ministry of Education combined the high school graduation exam and the university entrance exam into one 4-day-long exam. This move came in response to concerns about student well-being and assessment validity. Many felt that students and families were suffering under the pressure of two separate exams. Also, private universities, which admit students who do not get selected for prestigious spots in public universities, felt that the old exam system was too challenging and resulted in the exclusion of too many students. These universities wanted to be able to admit a greater number of students but found that these students were not able to meet the high bar set by the old entrance exams. As Pham explained, “This year the pressure comes from many stakeholders, saying the university system blames the previous entrance exam of not being able to classify students in a way that allows them to select the right students.”

As the new exam was administered in the first week of July, there is no consensus on the new process. While the Ministry of Education has expressed satisfaction with the new system, educators, policymakers, and researchers are concerned that the new exams might be too difficult for the purposes of high school graduation, yet too easy for the purposes of university entrance. The question is how to find one assessment that meets the needs of all students and institutions.

Also, the question of pressure and fairness remains. Students can only take the new exam in one of the approximately 30 testing centers. These testing centers are located in big cities, which means that students from mountainous and rural areas need to travel with a parent or guardian and find accommodations for the duration of the exam. Under the old system, students could at least take the high school graduation exam in their own school settings.

Deirdre Faughey

For more information on this issue:

National exam for university, high school satisfies students – News VietNamNet http://buff.ly/1fQRVdu

One million students sit for national exams – News VietNamNet http://buff.ly/1fQRY9k

Volunteers swing into action for season of exams – News VietNamNet http://buff.ly/1fQS6FI

Vietnam school students and the exam of life in pictures http://buff.ly/1fQS8xe

Flashback: Volunteers devote themselves to helping Vietnam’s national exam contestants http://buff.ly/1OkqFiO

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Vietnam

VND15 trillion approved for national education and training

Nhan Dan Online (September 11, 2012)

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has announced that the government will dedicate $730 million to The National Target Program on Education and Training, which will be in effect until 2015. This program aims to standardize universal kindergarten, maintain and improve the standardization of primary and secondary education, and improve literacy rates (currently 90.3% across the population). This program also specifically targets development in disadvantaged regions, rural areas, and communities with ethnic minorities. The construction of a number of facilities, libraries, teacher workrooms, and boarding schools, is expected.

Related resources and background information:

VND 15,200 billion for education and training

PM Calls for More Investment in Education

Schools to Apply New Educational Model

City to Subsidize Education for Poor

Canadian International Development Agency video on “achieving education for all in Vietnam”: