Students confused about vocation choices as counseling remains weak

VietNamNet Bridge - High schools have been criticized for many years for their poor career counseling. 


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Students need good advice  on their careers



Complaints increased after a report was released showing that many university students as been expelled from schools or dropped out because they did not like their majors.

Analysts say that high schools must be blamed. As students do not receive guidance, they often choose the wrong major. 

Nguyen Tung Lam, headmaster of Dinh Tien Hoang High School, chair of the Hanoi Educational Psychology Association, complained that high schools are having difficulties providing counseling.

“Knowledge is provided to students to help students to pass exams, not to help them understand what they will become in the future and which careers they should choose,” Lam commented.

“High schools have to spend much of their time preparing students for exams, one after another, so they don’t have time for career guidance,” he said. “Even if they want to do this, they don’t know where to start.”

Lam said that many students are leading passive lives. They don’t have their own views on issues in society and don’t know what they want. They just do what they are told and apply for schools their parents want.

Many university students are not sure about decisions to follow registered training majors. Some of them want to quit and apply for other schools. The problem is that students cannot receive good advice on their careers.

Many students are leading passive lives. They don’t have their own views on issues in society and don’t know what they want. They just do what they are told and apply for schools their parents want.

A high school teacher in Hanoi said that schools are aware of the necessity to give vocational counseling to students, but they have ignored the task. 

“Schools have no budget to run career guidance programs. The curricula are too heavy. The pressure from exams is so hard. They don’t have time for vocational counseling and practice hours,” he explained.

In theory, schools can seek financial support from parents to organize career guidance programs. However, this is a sensitive matter. 

“Many parents will complain if they are asked to pay money,” he said.

The Ministry of Education & Training (MOET) in 2006 decided that career guidance must be part of the curricular teaching program. Students in ninth grade and above had 27 periods in career guidance a year, or three periods a month.

However, in 2008, the figure was cut to one period a month. Explaining this, MOET said the lessons related to career guidance would be integrated into other learning subjects. However, the ministry did not show how this could be done.


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Mai Thanh

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