Mis-education nation

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The educational sector has never attracted so much attention, and also concern, from the press and the public, as it has now.

For years, in most cases, the press and the public, not authorized inspectors, shed light on the wrongdoings in education. It was the media and the people that exposed the phenomenon we call “paper doctors,” doctorate holders that have no real knowledge of their field, and universities licensed to open without adequate lecturers, facilities and curricula.

We cannot help worrying about education as it is vital to any society or economy, which depends on the citizens that schools produce.

Looking into the Vietnamese educational system, I see it differently from the rest of the world.

It seems that no nation in the world has such a complicated educational system as ours. Previously, we had only public schools run by the state. Now we also have semi-public schools, partly private and wholly private schools, and public schools with financial autonomy. Most nations around the world only have two types of schools, public and private.

In terms of qualifications, we have certificates/degrees for regular training, in-service training, remote training, crash courses, and continuation training, among many other kinds.

In recent years, the Ministry of Education and Training has launched campaigns called “saying no to educational wrongdoings” such as cheating and working only for rewards. However, do such campaigns work if people say “no” but still commit such infringements? Violators must be punished by law and regulations, or else campaigns calling for people’s participation will be of little help.

Today we have more people holding doctorate degrees than ever, but why do we have more and more books and theses filled with spelling and grammar mistakes? Is there any proper explanation? Historian Nguyen Khac Thuan is not a professor or doctorate holder but he has written hundreds of great educational books used as references for generations of students, researchers and doctors.

Rampant violations in education derive from overlapping and opaque regulations and misplaced staff. Any problem must be solved at its roots. It’s time concerned agencies start inspecting the education sector at its roots â€" the ministry and local departments under its umbrella first, and then the schools that violate regulations second.

By Nguyen Cong Dan

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