Government urged to ‘take action’ and not waste talented students
Tran Phuong, a renowned educator who has trained 60 students who won top prizes at international competitions, talks about what Vietnam needs to do to develop young talent.
Educator Tran Phuong (source: dantri)
Do you think that the high achievements gained by Vietnamese students at the 2017 international Olympiads show improvements in students’ capability?
The achievements gained by the math, physics and chemistry competition teams this year have put Vietnam in the top 3 ranking of the world. However, if considering long-term development, Vietnam ranks 12th in the world. And this coincides with PISA’s assessment.
This shows that students are clever and the teachers are good. This is also evidence which proves the success of the system of schools for the gifted in Vietnam.
However, in the context of the fourth industrial revolution, it is necessary to set more perse goals for the schools for the gifted. We have 20,000 students in schools for the gifted in 63 provinces and cities. But only 23 students attend five international Olympiads every year.
Vietnam doesn't need schools for the gifted if they just exist to help them pass the entrance exams to universities. It should set higher goals for schools for the gifted. For example, they need to have more and more students who can obtain scholarships to study abroad.
Many students in Hanoi and HCMC have received scholarships for overseas study, but this is the result of students and their families, not of policy.
Illustrative photo: Talented students receiving awards (source: tuoitre.vn)
How should schools for the gifted develop?
MOET needs to restore the system of schools for the gifted at all three general education levels. Vietnam needs to learn from the success of education models around the world to help students become global citizens.
What do you think about the Olympiad winners and the talents who went abroad to study but did not return to Vietnam?
With the collapse of the socialist countries, students and their parents have to take the initiative and apply for foreign schools and obtain scholarships from schools. As they no longer receive support from the state, the thought of returning to Vietnam to contribute to the homeland has been fading over time.
However, I think we need to be more open-minded about the students studying overseas. They know how to best contribute to the country, whether they are here or not.
How should we support excellent students?
We need to give support to Olympiad medal winners by raising funds for them to learn foreign languages and giving consultancy on overseas study. I know that many excellent students cannot go abroad just because of weak foreign language skills./.
( VNF/VNN )