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12th graders shun history exams

VietNamNet Bridge - Very few students have chosen history for their high school finals. However, in educators’ eyes, this does not mean Vietnamese students don’t take pride in Vietnamese history.
VietNamNet Bridge - Very few students have chosen history for their high school finals. However, in educators’ eyes, this does not mean Vietnamese students don’t take pride in Vietnamese history.


Only 15,000 out of 800,000 students chose to attend the history test for the 2015’s high school finals. The same number has been anticipated for this year’s finals, expected to take place this July.

In principle, 12th graders will have three compulsory exam subjects – math, literature and foreign languages - and one optional subject – biology, history, geography, physics or chemistry.

At the Nguyen Huu Tho High School in district 4, HCM City, only 16 out of 388 students decided to attend the history test. Meanwhile, 269 students registered to attend physics, 169 chemistry and 39 geography tests.

At Le Thanh Ton High School in district 7, only 23 students want to take history exam out of 400 12th graders of the school. 

The proportion is even lower at the Nguyen Khuyen High School: only 15 students out of 700 students would take history exam. Meanwhile, 30 out of 200 students of Ngo Thoi Nhiem High School in district 9 have reported they would choose history.

Very few students have chosen history for their high school finals. However, in educators’ eyes, this does not mean Vietnamese students don’t take pride in Vietnamese history.
Pham Duc Hung, headmaster of Nguyen Du High School in district 10, said he was surprised that no student of the school would take them history exam.

“Ten students chose history last year, while there is no one this year,” Hung said, adding that most of the students would take chemistry and physics, while 66 students would take geography and 70 biology.

This is the second consecutive year the Thanh Nhan High School in Tan Phu district does not have a student registering to take history exam.

Nguyen Dinh Do, deputy headmaster of Thanh Nhan High School, said history is a difficult learning subject for students, while they cannot see big job opportunities if they continue studying history at university.

Some historians warned that Vietnamese students may be indifferent to the history of the country and don’t want to know about the origin of the nation.

However, Dr Vu Quang Hien from the Hanoi University of Social Sciences and the Humanities, argued that it would be unreasonable to equate love of the nation’s history with the history exam.

“The fact that students don’t want to take history exam does not mean they turned their back to the nation’s history,” Hien said.

“They chose other exam subjects simply because they can expect to get higher scores from the subjects,” he said.

Tien Phong



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