Professor Ann Brooks
11 November 2011
Historical Roots of Vietnam’s Education System
Vietnam is a country rich with culture and traditions. Since the colonial periods when Vietnam was ruled by China for nearly one thousand years, Vietnamese people promoted learning and engraved the idea into every child at a very young age that intellectuals in the society such as educators were all superior to parents and are only inferior to the king. Unfortunately, when the French forcibly colonized Vietnam and used French as the dominant language in the education system, this resulted in the majority of Vietnamese people becoming illiterate. Despite adversity, Vietnam has increasingly made significant achievements in the education sector and country as a whole. By analyzing the historical political roots in Vietnam during time periods such as independence from France, pre-1975, and post-1975, while also taking into consideration historical economic roots, and challenges with overcoming conservative teaching methods and under qualified teachers; it will be apparent how all these factors play a role in the development of the education system in present day Vietnam.
During the first meeting session of the Government independent from France in 1945, then President Ho Chi Minh established that the three critical tasks of the new Government and Vietnamese people were to fight against poverty, illiteracy, and invaders. According to a report organized by the World Bank, “In response to the Government policies and President Ho Chi Minh’s call, there were, within less than a year, seventy five thousand classes with nearly ninety-six thousand teachers to help 2.5 million people get out of illiteracy” (3). This time period could be considered very important to the future of the education system in Vietnam because it was the birth of making education part of the national policy. It pushed the Vietnamese government to create a legal structure such as levels...