Education System in Hue, Vietnam
The education system in Hue somewhat follows the education system in Singapore being that they have a primary school level, a secondary school level, and a Junior College level. Vietnam also has its share of universities, although it would not be covered because it is not too important. There is also a pre-primary school level, something similar to the kindergarten in Singapore.
In the pre-primary school level, the students are roughly between 2 years to 5 years old. After that, they move on to primary school. In Vietnam there are only five years of primary school education, unlike the six years that Singapore has. The first year will be called Grade 1, and so on as each year passes.
- Primary school level is for students from the age of six to 10.
- Primary school is compulsory for all children in Vietnam.
- There is a very large subsidy for this level of education, around 50%.
When they reach Grade 6, they will have been considered as Secondary level education in our terms. This section of their education will last till Grade 9. From then on, it is what we would recognize as our Junior College education. Instead of the two years that Singaporeans experience, they have three years in their Junior College.
- Junior College education is three years.
- Lasts from Grade 10 to Grade 12.
- Typical student will finish pre-university level of education at the age of 18.
Should the student receive a scholarship or be wealthy enough to afford a university overseas, he will most probably pursue it. In general, the degrees and qualifications offered by Vietnamese universities are not globally recognized and thus overseas education is the preferred choice.
The young kids in the pre-primary school level usually learn simple things like the alphabet and numbers. It is not something that is only open to those who are wealthier. In fact, there are many young kids who attend the school.
The primary school level is a little more interesting. Instead of the Singaporean method in which we only study four subjects, the Vietnamese study the entire range of subjects right from the start. Some of these subjects are:
- Civics Education
- Art/ Music
- Physical Education
The education system in Vietnam is very much based on a modular system, whereby the students will study every topic together, starting from primary school.
- The schooling days for the primary school are the usual five days a week, starting from Monday till Friday.
- However, their school hours are rather short. Starting early in the morning at around seven, the students have lessons which are each an hour long.
- Lessons will last till around 11.50am.
In between the lessons, the students have some time to walk to their next classroom. There is also a short break sometime in the morning. Then, the students will make their way home for something known as Siesta to them.
The Vietnamese would bring their own snacks to eat in their free time, as their schools mostly do not have a canteen from which they can purchase food. It is because of this that the Vietnamese get and carry very little money around.
Lessons would resume at 1.30 if the students have any lessons. Their afternoon lessons differ from person to person and would last till around 6pm should they have any lessons.
Their secondary school level is rather similar to the primary school level. Only the primary school education level is compulsory for all students, after that, it is only optional. As mentioned before, the secondary school level also teaches all the subjects taught in primary school.
However, one main difference between the primary and secondary level is that from Grade 7 onwards the Vietnamese have lessons from Monday to Saturday.
Of course, as with any education system, the learning would go deeper and more detailed as the students progress along. In addition, some students would be given the choice to take up an additional language.
These languages differ from French, to Japanese. The students will learn these languages after school in the evening at the language center in the Hue Junior College.
- The lessons are an hour long and last from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.
- The interesting part is that the students in the language centre are sorted into classes based on the linguistic ability in that language rather than based upon their age.
Upon wishing to take up Junior College education, the students would have to sit for an examination. Only upon passing this examination can the student proceed to study in the Junior College. The Junior College in Hue had seven floors and had the best educational facilities that I saw in Hue. The students here are from Grade 10 to Grade 12. In other words, they finish their education here at the age of 17.
In Vietnam there are also schools that offer education for those that are physically or mentally impaired.
- These schools can usually accept students of almost all ages, ranging from seven to 18.
- The subjects that are taught to these students are similar to those that are taught to those taught in the mainstream education system.
However, due to the differences in the students, the method of teaching is inherently different. Many of these schools have very little funding and are mostly independent. They survive mostly off donations and charity events that they organize.