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Advantages and disadvantages of vocational training after secondary school

Reluctantly choosing to study under the 9+ system, but after three years, Nguyen Xuan Thang won the National Skilled Gold Medal.

In 2018, due to family reasons, Xuan Thang (19 years old, Hoai Duc district, Hanoi) did not enter the 10th grade of a public high school but registered for the 9+ system, Hanoi High-Tech Vocational College. Choosing a career in Industrial Electronics, Thang hopes to find a job easily “because every field needs electronics”. I do vocational training in the morning and cultural studies in the afternoon according to the continuing education program.

After three years, the time equivalent to high school, students of grade 9+ are awarded a vocational intermediate degree and graduate from high school. If continuing to study continuously, Thang only takes an extra year to complete the college program and 1.5 years with the university. Calculating the total time, within 5.5 years from graduating from junior high school, in addition to professional training experience, students 9+ have a university degree, 1.5-2.5 years earlier than their friends following the high school path. .

During his apprenticeship, Thang participated in the National Skills Competition 2021 and won a gold medal at the age of 18. He is studying a college degree program, intends to continue at university with the goal of finding a 15-20 salary job. million/month after graduation.

In the same hometown and one class under Thang, 18-year-old Le Danh Chien also chose to study 9+ at Hanoi High-Tech Vocational College because “in middle school, I was both bad at studying and playing at the same time”. Interested in tinkering with electronics since childhood, Chien pursued a career in Computer Repair.

After two years of study, he was selected to take part in the National Skills Competition in 2021. At this competition, Chien won a silver medal and was the second youngest among the winners. “With a college degree and a national award, I want to find a job with a salary of over 10 million VND per month,” Chien said.

Students of Dai Viet Saigon College during a practice session, December 2021.  Photo: Manh Tung

Students of Dai Viet Saigon College during a practice session, December 2021. Image: Manh Tung

Hanoi High-Tech Vocational College currently has about 1,000 students of 9+ and over 300 students per course. Among them, there are children who have just graduated from secondary school, and some children who are in the middle of 10-11 grades in the provinces and cities.

In Ho Chi Minh City, in addition to the system of Vocational Education – Continuing Education centers, students have hundreds of vocational training options at colleges, intermediate schools, both public and private.

Out of more than 8,000 targets this year, Ly Tu Trong College spent more than 3,000 for the intermediate system. Students graduating from high school or equivalent are trained by credit, graduating in one year. Candidates graduating from secondary school study for three years, with cultural subjects. If they only get a high school diploma, it takes them 1.5 years.

College of Technology II recruits more than 500 intermediate targets for students graduating from high school. After two years, students graduating from high school can go to college. In addition, students can study the high school program at the same time as the school cooperates with the continuing education center.

According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bui Van Hung, Rector of Technical College II: “Currently, vocational training programs are organized in a variety of ways, supporting jobs with good income. Choosing vocational training after graduating from secondary school helps children to learn. reduce the pressure and cost of studying, and can join the labor market at an early age”.

President of the School Board Hanoi High-Tech Vocational College – Dr. Pham Xuan Khanh – also highly appreciates the 9+ system and affirms that this model is convenient for learners. Due to the characteristics of both cultural learning and vocational training, the cultural program of 9+ is much lighter than that of a normal high school. Not to mention, the cost of vocational training is exempt, students only lose 690,000-940,000 VND per month according to the regulations of the continuing education center.

Mr. Khanh thinks that the 9+ system will be an option that should be considered for students with weak academic performance at the lower secondary level, who do not want to be under too much pressure to study or who have difficult family conditions and want to go to work early. .

“At that time, students who switch to system 9+ will feel more suitable because this system can both learn and practice, thereby stimulating curiosity and creative thinking”, Mr. Khanh analyzed and gave many examples. I was weak in secondary school, but when I was 9+, I still won medals when I participated in skill competitions, and my scores were higher than my brothers and sisters in universities and colleges.

In addition, according to Mr. Khanh, the 9+ system also contributes to streamlining and career orientation from junior high school for students, and is a good solution to provide human resources, helping to increase the rate of trained workers.

Students of Dai Viet Saigon College during a practice session, December 2021.  Photo: Manh Tung

Students of Dai Viet Saigon College during a practice session, December 2021. Image: Manh Tung

The national education system provides three options for students after completing the secondary school program: Continuing education (entering public or private high schools), Learning by working (continuous education system) and Vocational training (education center) vocational schools, secondary schools, vocational colleges).

According to the General Department of Vocational Education and Training, Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, by mid-2021, the country has more than 300,000 high school students who both study culture and learn a trade, playing an important role in providing education. manpower for the labor market.

However, the 9+ system also has disadvantages. Mr. Khanh admitted that many 9+ students have weak academic performance and are rebellious.

Besides, the 9+ system is both cultural learning and vocational training. The cultural learning section of 7 subjects is in charge of the continuing education center, under the management of the Ministry of Education and Training. Meanwhile, the vocational part is taught by vocational schools, under the Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs. If self-teaching culture, vocational schools only teach 4 subjects according to the Education Law 2019. With this program, students can only transfer from intermediate to college, cannot take the high school graduation exam to go to university. .

This leads to a number of inadequacies related to state management, and at the same time makes it difficult for students to move between the two schools to study both culturally and vocationally. This is also an issue that has been discussed for many years but has not been resolved.

Being able to self-organize to teach 7 cultural subjects is the desire of most vocational training institutions. At the conference to comment on the draft Circular on teaching high school culture in vocational schools, held at the end of 2021, Dr. Nguyen Thi Thu Dung, Rector of Thai Binh Medical College, said that vocational schools are capable of teaching cultural programs of 4 subjects and 7 subjects, even do better than continuing education centers. Therefore, the Ministry should allow vocational schools to train both these programs, so that learners can choose based on their individual needs.

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