Vietnam Education

Although still a poor country with low per capita income and years in war, Vietnam has unceasingly recorded great achievements in education.

In 1997, there were 22 million pupils all over the country. Among them, 13.2 million in primary schools (accounting for 58%), 4.3 million in secondary schools, and 26,000 in colleges and universities.

The literacy rate in Vietnam was high (92% of the population).  8% was illiteracy, among them 80% living in remote areas and 60% female.

State budget assigned for education was considerably increased in the last 2 years, taking about 10% of the total, in which 70% – 80% were used for paying salary to teachers. Budget share for education is projected to reach 15% by the year 2000.

A bilingual class

The private sector took bout 40% of total direct expenses, of which the larget part was spent for the kindergarten and education basis (about 60%). The basic expenditure for primary schools took about 50%, specialised secondary school about 19% and professional and vocational about 12% of the total expenses.

Besides having trained qualified and skilled workers, the Vietnamese education also has produced world-wide well-known scientists such as Mr. Nguyen Van Hieu, Mr. Tran Dai Nghia, Mr. Ton That Tung etc… The communist party and Vietnamese government always attaches great attention to education. In the resolution of the Second session of Central Committee of VIIIth Congress, the Communist Party of Vietnam regarded education and development of science and technics and technology as an important strategy of the country.

Despite of these archievements, the Vietnamese Education System is still facing many difficulties. Many schools and equipped teaching materials not timely updated, teachers have not been qualified as required,  and millions of children are still out of school. What must give special attention to, is the education and training policy.


The Education and training development policy

  1. The Education policy:

The National Assembly has passed the Law on Primary Education Proliferation since 12 August 1991.

The 2th session of VIIIth Congress of the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party held in December, 1996 issued resolution on “Orientation and tasks for Education Development strategy in the Industrialization and Modernization process toward the year 2000”.

The Education Law adopted by the National Assembly in April 1997 carrying the following major contents:

  • To restructure the National Education System and the National Certificates System. To consolidate public schools, encourage setting up new semi-public, private schools; allow to open private kindergartens, professional secondary schools and universities as well. To diversify forms of education like full-time, part-time, regular and irregular as well as remote education.
  • To redefine training and education targets, to re-construct teaching programs, teaching plans as well as the contents and methods suitable for each level and branch to meet the needs of the country’s development. especially those of industrialization and modernization process and educational management workers.
  • To strengthen legal system in education. Gradually increase budget for education, to mobilise possible from the people, to attract international aid and loans for the sake of education development.
  • To improve the quality of teachers.
  • To renovate Educational Management.

    2. International Cooperation in Education:

Vietnamese Government puts priority for cooperation in the following fields:

  • Developing the human resources, concentrating on training  qualified and skilled workers, especially, for the fields that utilize advance technology, and for business administration.
  • Promoting branches and subjects essential for the modernization and industrialization process and for implementation of international cooperation.
  • Training and recycle training and managerial educational workers, exchange of students, information as well as experience in science and education.


Target by the year 2000:

Pre-school education is given great attention

In the remaining years of this century, the Vietnamese Government has set fourth following targets:

  • To give the chance to most children of age of five to go to kindergartens in preparation for the 1st grade of primary school.
  • To proliferate primary education all over the country and basic secondary school for the urban ares and those whre conditions allowed.
  • To give the chance to about 60% children of the age from 11 to 15 in the whole country to enter secondary schools by the year of 2000. To expand and improve  politechnical and vocational education and teaching languages, computer in secondary schools.
  • To eliminate illiteracy for the people at the age from 15 to 35, to archieve illiteracy elimination and compulsory primary education all provinces according to national criteria.
  • To increase the number of trainees in all forms to 1 million people/year representing 22% to 25% of the trained labor force by 2000.
  • To enhance the university and college education one and half time in comparison with the scope of 1995 with the structural proportion in comformity with the structure of labor force and structure of the economy.
  • To expand forms of the regular education and remote education in particular.


The chart of education and certificate system:

1. The chart of education system:

2. National Diplomas and Certificates System:

Level of education


Entrance age

Entrance qualification

Qualification for graduate






I. Kindergarten:

  • Kindergarten
  • Senior Kindergarten

3 years

3 years


3-4th month

3rd year

II. General:

  • Primary
  • Secondary

– Specialised secondary



5 years

4 years

3 years


6th year

11th year

15th year


  • Primary Degree
  • Secondary Degree
  • Secondary degree

  • Primary Degree
  • Secondary Degree
  • Diploma
III. Vocational:

  • Vocational training after primary education.
  • Vocational training after secondary education.
  • Professional training.
  • Vocational training.


Under 1 year

1 – 2 years


3 -4 years

3 – 4 years


13th – 14th year

15th year


15th year

15th year


  • Secondary Degree
  • Secondary Degree
  • Secondary Degree

  • Vocational Certificate


  • Vocational Degree
  • Professional secondary degree
  • Vocational secondary Degree
IV. Graduate:

  • Colleges
  • Universities



  • Post Graduate


  • Doctorate

3 years

4 – 6 years

2 years

4 years

2 years


18th year

18th year



  • Secondary Degree or Secondary Certificate

  • University Degree
  • University Degree or Post Graduate Degree

  • College Degree
  • University Degree

  • Post Graduate Degree
  • Doctor Degree