VietNamNet Bridge – While vocational schools play a very important role in
the educational systems in other countries, experts have warned about the
disappearance of the schools in Vietnam which cannot attract students.
A report by the Ministry of Education and Training showed that in 2012, the
ministry assigned 591 training establishments to provide vocational training
services. The schools were allowed to enroll 374,787 students in the year, but
only 63.5 percent of the number turned up to enter schools.
In the Vietnamese educational system, universities (4-5-6 year training) and
junior colleges (3-year training) have been assigned to produce the bachelors
who would go working as office workers after the graduation. Meanwhile, those,
who graduate vocational schools (2-year training) would become blue collar
workers and work in factories.
The university graduates are believed to be in an “upper class” than vocational
school graduates, and they are believed to earn more money. This explains why
the youth all dream of following university education instead of going to
Even the learners at vocational schools also tend to choose the training majors
which allow getting easy jobs. According to MOET, 90,000 students registered the
healthcare relating training majors (34 percent), 50,000 chose the studies
relating to business and business management, 40,000 chose technique relating
majors, and 36,000 chose teacher training.
Meanwhile, many other training fields, very important to the national economy,
cannot attract students. These include forestry, agriculture and fisheries,
environment protection and food processing which only attracted one percent of
learners in 2012.
MOET said that Vietnamese students always strive to follow university education,
therefore, they have refused vocational schools.
In principle, the students, who fail the entrance exams to universities, would
go to vocational schools. However, students nowadays tend to go to non-state
owned universities if they fail to enter state owned schools, rather than going
to vocational schools.
The number of high school graduates has been decreasing by a little in recent
years, while the number of students to be enrolled to junior colleges and
universities has been increasing steadily, and more people-founded schools have
been established. Therefore, vocational schools don’t have many students to
enroll, according to Ngo Kim Khoi, a senior official of MOET.
The recent information about the high unemployment rate has made the students,
who plan to go to vocational schools, shrink back. It is getting more difficult
to look for jobs with vocational school degrees.
MOET has urged general schools many times to improve the career guidance to
students before they finish schools, believing that the lack of career guidance
makes students puzzled about choosing their future jobs.
Students believe that they would have better jobs with university degrees, while
they would earn less money if they only have vocational school degrees.
Meanwhile, in fact, skillful workers can also receive very high incomes.
Experts believe that after MOET tightens the inter-school training (students
finish junior colleges can pass credits to continue studying at universities),
the situation of vocational schools would be even worse.
Currently, many students still accept to study at vocational schools just
because they hope they would be able to pass credits to study at universities
after they finish vocational schools. Now since the door from vocational school
to universities is closed, they would not go to vocational schools any more.