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The Education System in Vietnam


If you are searching to learn more about the Vietnamese education system, you have searched the right guide. Below we will show you the fundamental components of the education system in Vietnam giving you a general understanding. 

Vietnam Education System

An education system in Vietnam is arranged by the Ministry of Education and Training and applied all over the nation. According to UNESCO statistics, up to 2009, more than 90% of the population is literate. Now, let’s take a look at Vietnam education system components.

1. Pre-school

Pre-school in Vietnam is not compulsory. You can choose to let your children go to school or stay at home at this stage.

Nursery school: Nursery school is a place to babysit children when their parents go to work to make a living. A child can go to nursery school when he/she reaches 3 months old.

Kindergarten: When the child reaches 3, parents will take him/her to kindergarten where he/she is expected to get familiar with going to school from 7 AM to 3 PM, from Monday to Friday. This routine will maintain until the child reaches 5. At this stage, teachers in kindergarten will teach children to sing, dance, draw and do some simple activities by themselves. Teachers also teach children letters and simple mathematics. Nowadays, since English is becoming more and more popular, English is added as a subject in kindergarten, too. Kids will be taught to familiarize themselves with some simple and popular phrases, colors, numbers, shapes, etc.

vietnam kindergarten

Kindergarten in Vietnam

2. General training

When the child is 6 years old, it’s time to go to school officially. A conventional classroom of general training consists of about 30 to 40 students with one class monitor, 2 to 3 sub monitors, and a homeroom teacher. Students wear uniforms to school. The uniform design differs from each school. Generally, a normal person will spend twelve years for general studying from grade 1 to grade 12 including primary, secondary and high school, before studying higher education or vocational training.

Primary school

Primary school lasts for 5 years, from grade 1 to grade 5. In primary school, students will study literature, mathematics, history, geography, etc. which are taught by one teacher called the homeroom teacher. Other subjects such as art, music, physical education, etc. are taught by other teachers. Students finishing the primary level will continue to study the secondary level. There is no entrance exam to go to secondary school.

Secondary school

Secondary school lasts for 4 years, from grade 6 to grade 9. One big difference between a primary and a secondary school is that different teachers teach different subjects. One of the teachers will be the homeroom teacher. Besides, teaching, the homeroom teacher is responsible for taking care of students in other aspects such as administrative or consulting tasks. When students finish secondary school, there will be an exam taken place all over Vietnam to assess students’ proficiency, which is the entrance exam to high school. This entrance exam is currently applied to both public and private schools. Otherwise, you can stop general training there and start vocational training.

vietnam secondary

A secondary school in Vietnam

High school

High school lasts for 3 years, from grade 10 to grade 12. In high school, subjects such as art and music are eliminated. Students will be instructed to do career orientation and will focus on the subject which they major in. When students finish high school, they will have to take a university entrance exam. Like high school, a university entrance exam is currently applied to both public and private universities. Regarding this exam, students will choose the major that they want to study at university and take the exams that are associated with the major. In recent years, there have been a lot of changes made on this exam regarding the exam form, questions, structures, quizzes, etc.

3. Vocational training

In Vietnam's education system, vocational training is designed to teach the student a particular job such as carpenter, barber, and tailors. Students after finish vocational training are expected to have basic skills for a job. Then, he/she can work with an experienced senior to hone their skills, or they can start their own business. This training is divided into two types: short-term training and long-term training. Short-term training lasts less than 1 year while long-term training lasts from 1 to 3 years.

4. Tertiary education

Tertiary education encompasses bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees. Bachelor often lasts 4 years in Vietnam, depending on the subject of study. However, for some specific majors such as medical study, bachelor could last 6 years and more. After students finish the bachelor's degree, they can choose to be officially a part of the labor market or study more. Students often need to spend 2 years for a master's degree and 4 years for a Ph.D. degree.

vietnam national university

Vietnam National University

Thanks to the Internet, learning has been made easier than ever before, and aside from going to school, students can also choose to learn from home as much as they can. Using online platforms such as Custom Essay Meister to assist with their schoolwork, Vietnamese students can advance much faster in their learning progress.

5. Continuing education

These centers are established with an aim to bring education to all walks of life. If your studying unexpectedly ceases due to certain reasons, you can register a course at these centers and go back to study at any time. These centers are meant to eliminate the illiteracy rate in society, to encourage people to study whenever they are ready to.

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School schedule

In Vietnam, a school day starts from 7 AM to 11 AM in the morning, from 1 PM to 4 PM or 5 PM in the afternoon, from Monday to Friday and Saturday morning for some schools. Students will have a 30-minute break in the morning and the afternoon as well. A school year often starts in September and ends in May the following year. In a school year, there are some holidays that students are allowed to take one or several days off such as Tet holiday, Independence Day, World Labor Day, Hung Kings Commemoration Day, and teachers' day.

Summertime often lasts 3 months from the start of June to the end of August. However, in recent years, a school year is likely to start earlier in August due to the fact that other holidays in the year will last longer. Summer schools and extra classes like evening classes are voluntary and have been discouraged by the government in recent years.

A school year in Vietnam is often divided into 2 semesters. There will be a test in the middle and at the end of the semester to test students’ processes and consider if they are eligible to study in the next grade. In the last 3 years, the Minister of Education and Training has applied a new system of assessment in primary school. Particularly, teachers will write comments for the students instead of grading them. This is to diminish the pressure of studying for primary students. Nevertheless, this system is still in need of improvement for better outcomes.

School fee

Regarding public schools, primary students are exempt from tuition fees. This is to motivate children to go to school and be literate, be able to do simple math after finishing 5 years of primary school. In Vietnam's education system, primary school is mandatory. Students in other education levels (from pre-school to tertiary) have to pay about VND 100,000 to VND 200,000 per month for tuition fees and a little more for other kinds of fees such as lunch, facility fees, etc.

  • Nursery: VND 200,000/month
  • Kindergarten: VND 160,000/month
  • Secondary: VND 100,000/month
  • Highschool: VND 120,000/month

This number was applied in the 2016-2017 school year. And the authority is considering to exempt fee for secondary schools in 2019. The fee for college and university ranges from VND 5,000,000 to VND 51,000,000/year in the 2017-2018 school year.

Regarding private schools, tuition fees vary according to each school. For general education, the lowest price could be VND 1 million/month for half-day classes, VND 2 million/month for full-day classes, and VND 3 million/month for boarding school, while the highest price could be up to VND 48 million. Students study in private schools, especially international schools, usually pay much more than students in public schools. Instead, they are provided with a more modern facility and an environment that is more open to international concepts.

Summary of the Education System in Vietnam

Education has always been considered crucial and is the foundation of being successful in the future. Like many other parts of the world, high-educated people are highly respected in Vietnam. In recent years, Vietnam has deployed many innovations so as to update and upgrade the educational quality. Vietnam's education system is expected to develop more and more in the future since it is deemed the cornerstone of a prosperous nation.


You may also want to check out other information on other aspects of Vietnamese society:

Health Care in Vietnam

Legal Age in Vietnam

Internet and Communication in Vietnam


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Guest - Dũng on Friday, 01 November 2019 23:37

Now Vietnam has free education in some cities

Now Vietnam has free education in some cities
Guest - Hafsa on Saturday, 26 October 2019 15:03

No free education, even for public schools?

No free education, even for public schools?
Already Registered? Login Here
Monday, 18 October 2021

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