Education in Vietnam is divided into five levels: preschool, primary school, secondary school, high school and higher education. Formal education consists of twelve years of basic education. Basic education consists of five years of primary education, four years of intermediate education, and three years of secondary education. The majority of basic education students are enrolled on a half-day basis. The main educational goal in Vietnam is improving people’s general knowledge, training quality human resources and nurturing and fostering talent. With one of the highest GDP growth rates in Asia, Vietnam is currently trying to overhaul its education system, with a view to prepare students for the increasing role of English as the language of business, and the importance of internationalizing the education system to maintain the rapid economic growth of the last two decades.
Types of educational establishments
Regarding ownership, as prescribed in Article 44 of Vietnam’s Education Law, there are four types of educational establishments: Public education establishments: established and monitored by the State. The State also nominates their administrators and decides staff quota. The State invests in infrastructure and allocates funding for their regular spending tasks. Semi-public educational establishments: set up by the State on the basis of mobilizing organizations and individuals in the society to jointly invest in infrastructure. People-founded educational establishments: Social or economic organizations apply for permission from the State to set up an institution with non-State budget capital. Private educational establishments: Individuals or groups of individuals apply for permission from the State to set up and invest in the institution by themselves. The semi-public, people-founded and private educational establishments are referred collectively to as non-public educational establishments.
The school year is divided into two semesters. The first semester begins in late August and ends some time before Tết, while the second one begins right after the first one and lasts until June. Level/Grade Typical age Preschool
Pre-school playgroup 3-4
Kindergarten 4-6 Primary school
First grade 6-7
Second grade 7-8 Third grade 8-9
Fourth grade 9-10
Fifth grade 10-11
Sixth grade 11–12
Seventh grade 12-13
Eighth grade 13–14 Ninth grade 14-15
Tenth grade 15–16
Eleventh grade 16–17 Twelfth grade 17–18 Post-secondary education
Tertiary education (College or University)Ages vary (usually four years, referred to as Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior years)
Public kindergartens usually admit children ranging from 18 months to 5 years of age. Sometimes, four- or five-year-old children are taught the alphabet and basic arithmetic. This level of education is not compulsory and tends to be popular in major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Can Tho and Vung Tau.
Children normally start primary education at the age of six. Education at this level lasts for 5 years and is...