Press J to jump to the feed. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts
Found the internet!
r/VietNam
18
Posted by3 months ago

Best for Kids: Public School, Private School or is Homeschool even possible in Vietnam?

Hi all, using a throwaway for reasons I think will soon be obvious.

I've been teaching for several years in Vietnam in a variety of school environments. My wife and I are trying for kids and almost certainly going to raise them in Vietnam - our lives are pretty settled here and the cost of living is simply too good. However, I was concerned with schooling. Frankly, public schools look like a better deal despite their often horrid conditions because, from a distance anyways, they seem to at least have a good sense of discipline.

All of these "International" and quasi-International schools seem to just suction money from parents for programs that are only marginally better than what could be had in a public school. The biggest pros I see are cleaner facilities and generally better technology. This is off-set by spoiled kids and overworked teachers.

If I'm honest, I'd rather have my future kids homeschooled at this rate. However, my understanding is that education is compulsory in Vietnam and studying at home simply isn't a thing. Just to make sure there's no misunderstanding, there is no religious reason for this at all. I've just not been impressed by the education system even as I've worked within it. Nothing against any teachers but the system as it is now just sucks and I'd rather give my future kids the least painful experience as they grow up.

40 comments
85% Upvoted
level 1

I teach English in 5 or so public schools each week. There is a crazy difference between them. From modern and bright with quality projectors and facilities like My Dinh high school to classrooms where not even the AC works like Viet Duc.

Some schools seem to have really good students though. Viet duc has crazy smart students. So does Tran Nha Tong.

Basically my experience is that there is a huge variety in the public school system and one school can be incredibly badly equipped and another can be very well equipped.

8
level 2

Haha, this is very relatable. I used to be a cover teacher in Hanoi and seeing My Dinh school pop up on your schedule was always a blessing. Just like some other schools in Long Bien. And on the other hand you had these awful schools: no technology, no materials, kids fighting each over food. I never found a pattern; there were good schools all over the city, and shitty ones right next to them. It's not like there was one area that was shittier or better than the others. Really depended on the school on how much in control the teachers were.

4
level 2

I've noticed this as well. Some schools are like walking into 'Dangerous Minds.'

Others aren't so bad

1
level 2

Didnt expect to see Viet Duc HS mentioned on reddit lol. I didnt know they hired foreigners to teach English there. When I went there (around 2010) there were only Vietnamese teachers whose English skills were...meh. Good to know that they made some improvements.

The thing about public school (high school specifically) in Vietnam is that there is/used to be an entrance exam, so the "level" of students can be quite different between schools. Public schools dont just accept any student. There are actually "tiers" of schools depending on how difficult their admission requirements are.

Regarding OP's question, private schools may not focus on academic performance as much as public schools, with the exception of some, but private schools tend to offer more choices of extracurricular activities. It all depends on what you want your kids to achieve in school.

1
level 1

Just do online math lessons and do public school , no reason to spend so much money on education

5
level 1

Unlike western countries, in Việt Nam public schools are generally better (and cheaper) than private schools. Especially in terms of how well the students do in important exams (graduating exams, university entrance exams, etc), public schools usually provide better "training" for these, which is ultimately what Vietnamese parents want from their kids' education. Some private schools can also provide this, such as Nguyễn Khuyến (HCMC), but that school is notorious for their military-like schedule

I don't think homeschool is viable for Việt Nam environment. Unless you have your own establishment that your kids can inherit, they'd very likely face hardship finding a job if they don't have any educating qualifications (middle-school/highschool graduated, university graduated, etc)

13
level 2
· 3 mo. ago
Native

I went to Nguyen Khuyen, there is a reason why we half-jokingly call it a prison.

7
level 2
Op · 3 mo. ago

Thanks for that. Yeah, from the looks of it and my anecdotal experience, public seem barebones but are at least effective at getting students information. My wife and I would be involved with their learning of course.

4
level 1

I'm just going to throw this out there:

Every person I've ever met who was home-schooled was quite odd. I don't know what it is about home-schooling, but kids who are home schooled just turn out different.

I'd think carefully before setting that as an option. The home schooled people I've met (as adults, mostly) who were academically excellent and home schooled by exceptionally smart parents had mostly found their way into tertiary education and academic type careers.

The home schooled people who are not gifted end up just being odd and struggling to find a place to fit in.

I guess the point I'm making is that home-schooling you kid has consequences FAR beyond the quality of the education they receive.

11
level 2

Totally agree with this. I also think home schooling is really isolating... OP doesn't mention whether both he and his with are foreigners but if they are then the kid's going to have a really weird existence, spending all their time at home and potentially never learning the language or making any local friends.

8
level 1

Are there any reasonably priced private schools in Ho chi Minh city?

3
level 1

From what I’ve seen some schools in Vietnam terribly overwork the kids. This could also be a cultural difference between Western European and Vietnamese but the amount of school work seems highly excessive to me.

3
level 1

Where are you? There was a school in Hanoi my friends kids went to that seemed OK. Wasn't an international school because she started off in one of them but they both were not fans. This was still a privately run school though.

2
level 2
Op · 3 mo. ago

We're in HCMC.

2
level 1

I am a student at Hanoi University of Science and Technology or Bach Khoa in Vietnamese. It is one of the oldest and most pretigious university in Vietnam. My program is called "Program for Talented Engineer", which can be considered elite program.

None of my classmates comes from private school. All from famous or just ordinary public schools. Public education in Vietnam can vary from schools to schools, cities to cities but generally they are the better option.

Particularly for public highschool admission is based on scores from exam organized by the Department of Education. The competition is strong in top highschool because all the best students want to focus on these. Whereas for most private school, all you need is the money to pay for expensive tuition. There are good private schools of course but your options are much more limited.

2
level 1

I went to an international primary school then a public secondary school and it felt like I got the best of both worlds (decent English foundation and avoiding spoiled kids). In my experience, public schools (especially primary and secondary schools) have a lot of corruption (i.e teachers opening up classes where they prepare kids for class exams) but secondary schools and high schools also have “gifted” programs which will give your children a massive advantage compared to other kids.

2
level 1

The public school system is generally horrible in my experience. We have two early teenage kids and they're only being taught what to know for their test and how to be scared of teachers (I guess that's preparation for how to be scared of government). Critical thinking or even thinking for oneself isn't part of the curriculum at all. We're debating taking them out of school and schooling them at home. After basic reading, writing and math I don't really feel like they're picking up anything useful from those schools anyway.

2
level 1

I personally would not put my kid in public school there. They would not have a good enough English level to study in your home country for university. Public school in Vietnam is very unbalanced. No enough emphasis is placed on personal development and children are under immense pressure. Sure, the cream of the crop can even put in a good showing when they study abroad but the rest often just tune out. The other issue I have is the teachers are not paid a living wage so they force kids into their extra classes on evenings on weekends where the real material needed to do well in the class is taught. Essentially, the students' time is wasted during the day so they study outside of regular hours. In my mind the private bilingual schools are better. They pay well so the teachers don't do this. As far as I can tell the education is OK and can be supplemented with tutoring where needed. Since the drive here isn't to prep college entrance exams, things are more balanced. As others have stated, these schools are spring board to study abroad. Since you are a foreigner, the door should be kept open to that. Better quality without the stress of entrance exam prep.

2
level 1

I'm an expat ESL teacher from the US. My wife is Vietnamese. We live in a farming commune outside Hanoi. Our son just finished grade 1 at the local school. I'm happy with Vietnamese schools. The local school is very good at teaching math and Vietnamese. I've been teaching him English. I'm not crazy about the writing (they tend to make them copy the same words / letters over and over again to learn perfect penmanship... waste of time and makes the kids hate school).

Honestly, I think the Vietnamese school system is mostly fine. It would be nice if they had better technology, had art or music classes,etc., but they are good at the fundamentals (math and reading), and that's the most important thing.

I recommend you send your kids to Vietnamese schools, and when they get home, teach them whatever else you want them to learn (English, art, music, etc.).

2
level 2

Off topic, but I'd be super curious to hear about this farming commune and what your life there is like!

1
level 1
· 3 mo. ago · edited 3 mo. ago

In-laws have their son at the British international school, and at 30k a year I'm convinced it has more to do with being in vouge than anything else. Though the daughter is at some Singaporean something or other school at only 15k a year.... That said both born and raised in Vietnam, their English is great while their Vietnamese is poor, so I'm told, I don't think the daughter can even speak vnmese at all. So besides the upscale and increased variety of facilities, you're not going to get a better insurance of English command unless you press it in yourself, which I'm sure you can do. Also fwiw picking up your kid after school is a nightmare with all the other car traffic. What id consider is the B rated international schools, at a fraction of the cost. As you intend to stay in vn, there will be a better concentration of other Vietnames student and viet life itself. And every other friend I've had with kids in B rated schools are all fluently bilingual and just as well rounded.

I've only had one friend sending their kids to public school, and it seemed lacking in so many areas, namely the one I could notice, they couldn't speak English well, which in all honestly in this day and age, will do much more for the child than anything else.

To address a few of your concerns directly, yes the kids are often spoiled, these kids are often from means and it's just a product of their upbringing. But all I have met are very well behaved so i don't agree on your assessment of better discipline in public schools. Maybe even the opposite is true, but I can't say for sure. Id image one aiming to associate children with those of similar means

2
level 2

Ya, international schools are basically a springboard into studying abroad.

There's an irony of 'patriotic' elite Vietnamese doing everything they can to ensure their family escapes Vietnam, despite the fact they are the ones who set policy here

3

About Community

Hello! This is the global dual-language Reddit home of the country Vietnam. Chào mừng bạn đến với ngôi nhà trên Reddit của Việt Nam. r/Vietnam sử dụng cả hai ngôn ngữ tiếng Việt và tiếng Anh.
Created Jul 22, 2008

198k

Members

171

Online

Top 1%

Ranked by Size