Education in Vietnam

An old student of mine recently reached out to me requesting I proofread her paper on the importance of education in Vietnam. Some of the statistics listed in her paper surprised me, such as 40% of students in the Mekong Delta dropped out of school in 2009, most of them being upperclassmen. Whether this statistic is accurate or not, I can’t actually say for sure, but from what I saw during my travels, including outside of Vietnam, I wouldn’t be all that surprised.

I saw first hand the unfortunate instances of when parents had removed their children from school in order to have them work and support the family. One of them being at one of the family vegetarian noodle shops I ate at regularly. I always thought this one girl that worked there was rude and unfriendly (but the food was awesome, which is why I kept coming back). At any time of the day she would be there and it annoyed me to see her.

I later discovered from one of the other English teachers that she was only 14-years old (I thought she was at least in her mid-twenties) and that she was taken out of school to help the family. It broke my heart to know that she was so young working all hours of the day (not to mention I felt like the biggest jerk). It also killed me to know she wasn’t able to attend school while her younger brother was. After that I didn’t mind her attitude in the least bit and I even made more of an effort to smile at her.

I suppose there are two lessons to take away from this post: The first being don’t judge, and the second being that of the importance of education, not just for Vietnam, but even for here in my own country.

Here’s the essay:

Education is one of the ways to help our country be richer and more developed, which is why the government concerns itself with education so much. However, many students drop out which causes many difficulties for the development of education. It is a problem that many people mention. Let me tell you about this situation, the reasons, the consequences, and the solutions for students dropping out in the Me Kong Delta.

The situation
Forty percent of students in the Me Kong Delta dropped out of school in 2009. Older students drop out the most.

The reasons
Students that do not understand the work become bored and tired in their studies. Many parents are busy earning money and cannot watch their children study. They think that their children still go to school, but in fact, they do not.

Some parents haven’t recognized the importance of studying. They think studying is a waste of time and money, and that the children should work to earn money to help the family.

Some other reasons include the situation of the family, such as parents fighting which influence their children to not go to school. Another reason is that they were born in a poor family and since the fee to go to school gets higher and higher, they have no money to pay for it. Other people live far from school and it makes it very difficult to go.

The consequences
It is harmful for the children in the present and in the future. When students leave school because they feel sad, bored or unintelligent, it makes them more troublesome. Moreover, since they aren’t learning, it is difficult for them to find a job. Additionally, they will become a burden for their family, society and themselves.

The solution
We should raise the education quality to decrease the rate of bad students. We need to classify the level of students accurately. We need to choose the best teachers to educate students, especially students in the ninth grade.

We need a combination of help to ensure our students are getting the best education, which includes school, family and society. Schools must announce to parents immediately when students demonstrate strange behavior or get bad grades. Families need to make sure their sons and daughters are studying. Society needs to create the best environment for poor students to go to school. We should help and support them the best we can!


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