Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Students drop out because they cannot pass finals

The proportion of high school drop-outs in northern river delta provinces (region 2) proves to be low compared to other regions in the country. However, leaders of local education and training departments have warned that the proportion will increase in the coming years if there is no suitable solution for the problem.

The most outstanding strong point of education in region 2 is that there are very few primary school drop-outs. Only nine primary school drop-out cases have been reported in Ha Nam (there are 57,927 primary school pupils in the province), often the locality with the most primary school drop-outs. Meanwhile, only 3-5 drop-out cases have been reported for other provinces, mostly because of health problems. The three provinces of Bac Ninh, Hai Duong and Hung Yen have not reported any drop-out cases in the 2007-2008 academic year.

However, the drop-out situation proves to be more complicated at secondary and high schools.

The proportion of secondary school drop-out pupils ranges between 0.07% (76/Hai Duong province) and 0.43% (319/Bac Ninh). Ha Tay province is the locality which saw the most secondary school drop-out pupils, 558.

The proportion of drop-outs proves to be highest at high schools. Hung Yen is the province which has the highest proportion of drop-outs (1.35%/650 drop-out pupils), while Ha Tay is the province which has the highest number of drop-outs (1,263).

Nguyen Van Quoc, Director of the Hai Duong Education and Training Department, has warned that the number of high school drop-outs will increase if the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) tightens final exams. More high school students will give up school because they believe that they will not pass the final exams.

Quoc said that for a long time, the doors of high schools have been open too widely for students. A lot of incapable students, who finish secondary education, are still allowed to enroll in high school. In Hai Duong province, for example, 80% of students finishing secondary education enroll in high school.

Quoc said that the Hai Duong education and training department is drawing up a project on diverting students after secondary education. Some students will enter high school, while others will be sent to continuation schools, where they can also get apprenticeships.

Hoang Huu Nam, Deputy Director of Vinh Phuc Education and Training Department, said that Vinh Phuc has been apprenticing students of continuation schools for five years.

In order to encourage this model, Vinh Phuc authorities set aside VND60-100,000/month for every student. As a result, 7,000 of 10,200 continuation school students have been apprenticed in the last five years.

What worries local education and training departments most is that the Ministry of Education and Training does not encourage continuation school students to work as apprentices.
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