VietNamNet Bridge – Deputy Minister of Education and Training Tran Quang Quy has controversially claimed that banning children under five from studying foreign teaching programmes at internationally-run nursery schools would help preserve Vietnamese culture.
Deputy Minister of Education and Training Tran Quang Quy.
The government’s newly-issued decree has been met with widespread public concern.
According to Deputy Minister of Education and Training Tran Quang Quy, children aged below five must learn in Vietnamese. He also claimed that it should be compulsory to study certain subjects in Vietnamese which will be clearly stipulated in a guiding circular for Decree 73 which is being complied.
“When children study foreign syllabuses in others languages at school and they are mostly surrounded by foreign friends, they will face difficulties in absorbing knowledge and integrating into the community later. We don’t want our children who live in Vietnam to be bad at Vietnamese and fail to integrate into the community,” he added.
Foreign teaching programmes were defined by the official as those originating from abroad and are taught in foreign languages in Vietnam.
Under the decree, the numbers of Vietnamese students at foreign-invested primary and secondary schools in Vietnam would be capped at a current 10% of total student numbers and 20% for high schools. He explained that, “These rates are reasonable because they intended to offer an opportunity for foreign children to study at Vietnam, not for business reasons.”
Circular to be issued
Retroactive regulations will not be applied to foreign-invested schools which had already received a number of students higher than the regulated levels set before the decree took effect since November 12, 2012.
Students at these schools will be allowed to continue their study, but the schools have to have their plans and road maps in place to conform to the decree’s regulated rate of Vietnamese students.
The Ministry of Education and Training is drafting a guiding circular for Decree 73 and will seek opinions from individuals and organisations.