Ministry’s “one national exam” idea meets public resistance

VietNamNet Bridge – Contrary to all predictions, only 15 percent of those polled by VietNamNet say they agree with the Ministry of Education and Training’s (MOET) plan to organize a single national exam instead of the current high school finals and university entrance exam.

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A mini survey conducted by VietNamNet from July 18 to July 24 has found unexpected results.

Of the 3,807 polled readers, 12.82 percent still insist on the necessity of organizing two separate national exams for universities. They do not think that it would be better to remove one national exam in order to cut expenses.

However, though agreeing that it is too costly to organize two separate national exams, only 15.29 percent of polled readers think it would be better to organize one national exam to both find high school graduates and capable students for universities.

The majority of readers, 71.89 percent, believe that MOET needs to organize one national exam to find the most capable students for universities.

Meanwhile, high school students will be certified as finishing high schools based on their learning records.

As such, most people still think that it is necessary to select the best students for universities through national exams.

Prior to that, many educators criticized the national exam, saying there was no need to organize such a costly exam and that universities could enroll students themselves by considering high school students’ learning records.

VietNamNet’s survey showed that though Vietnamese agree to remove one national exam, they still disagree about which exam should be removed.

Dr. Tran Xuan Hoai from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology thinks the current national university entrance exam should be maintained, though it is necessary to make some changes.

A university lecturer, agreeing with Hoai, said the national university entrance exam is the only exam which can provide reliable information about students’ abilities. Therefore, it needs to be maintained to be sure that only the best students are selected for university education.

Meanwhile, he believes there is no need to organize the high school finals anymore. “Why should we keep organizing the exam if we know in advance that 99 percent of students will pass the exam?” he said.

In another survey, 27.43 percent of polled people said they wish to see the single national exam mechanism to start from 2015. The other 62 percent believe that Vietnam needs at least three years to prepare for the new mechanism, and the remaining disagree.

The statistics showed that Vietnamese remain cautious about new ideas, even though they agree that it is necessary to carry out reform in the national educational system.

MOET showed its strong determination to reform the examination mechanism, putting forward the idea of single national exam 10 years ago. However, no final decision has been made so far.

Kieu Oanh

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