The education system in Vietnam is managed by the Ministry of Education and Training. Children may enter the first stage of education into pre-school or kindergarten, however, this level of schooling is optional. The mandatory level of schooling starts in primary education and takes five years. After primary school, students have the option to move on to lower secondary education and upper secondary education. For the upper secondary level, students have the choice to focus on a science-based or arts and humanities program. Following the upper secondary level, there is the standard choice to continue in postgraduate education and post-secondary education. In recent years. there had been a fluctuation in the number of university students in Vietnam.
Despite positive improvements in human capital from its sectorial funding, Vietnam has also faced some social issues from a rigorous school curriculum. A lot of young people have faced depression and anxiety, leading to higher suicide rates in the last decade. Furthermore, the sector has been noted the second most corrupted in Vietnam which contributes to the country’s increasing Corruption Perceptions Index. Admission bribery and bribery for grade improvements have become common. Although there are some consequential drawbacks from the education system, Vietnam has a literacy rate of over 90 percent and has scored higher than average in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) compared to other countries which participated in the OECD and other developed economies, including the United States.
In essence, Vietnam’s education sector grew as a result of the country’s economic reforms and has now set a standardized education system to improve human capital. Despite some issues within the sector, Vietnam has been attempting to improve the educational system, although still being an ongoing disputed issue for the country’s development.