Should Vietnam increase the number of schools for the gifted?
Under a Central Party Committee resolution, there is only one school for the gifted in every province and the model must not be applied to primary and secondary education. The Hanoi and HCMC education departments every year release documents to remind secondary schools not to organize entrance exams to find students for classes of selected students.
However, a high school teacher in Hanoi commented that secondary schools still exist in reality. While local education departments state that the classes from the sixth to ninth grades at the Hanoi-Amsterdam in Hanoi and Tran Dai Nghia schools in HCMC have students whose academic achievements are just at a normal level, people still consider these as classes for gifted students.
That is why the two schools can select the best students throughout the cities, while other schools can only enroll students in local districts.
In other provinces, there are ‘high-quality’ secondary schools which select the best students in the entire localities and they are just like schools for the gifted.
Educators believe that the restriction on the number of schools for the gifted in each province is no longer reasonable in new circumstances.
Le Quy Don Secondary School in Bac Giang province, for example, plans to enroll 120 students for the sixth grade. The students who have good learning records and win high prizes at competitions for excellent students will have privileges.
An education expert who once worked for MOET commented that it did not matter if the ministry recognized secondary schools for the gifted, such schools still exist. He thinks that the existence of secondary schools for the gifted is a necessity, because the schools are sources which provide talented students to high schools for the gifted.
He said that many renowned Vietnamese professors who live and work in developed countries studied at secondary schools for the gifted.
Dao Trong Thi, former Chair of the NA’s Committee for Culture, Education, the Youth and Children, also said he supported the idea of expanding the system of schools for the gifted.
He said the existence of such schools, at different education levels, has big significance, especially for countries with difficult conditions like Vietnam. Through the schools, Vietnam can promote and train students with special abilities into talents in the context of a limited budget.
“Training talented students is the responsibility of the nation,” he said.
He went on to say that large education centers like Hanoi and HCMC need to have schools with larger scale. It is an unreasonable principle that the number of schools for the gifted in the large cities is equal to the number of schools in Lao Cai or Bac Kan provinces.
Schools for the gifted want new enrollment policy
Entrance to high schools for the gifted heats up