Vocational schools, the flavour of the season

HCM CITY (Viet Nam News/ANN) – The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has merged many vocational schools as one way to improve their quality and encouraged schools to use IT in training.

In 2017, Le Van Quoc applied to the Cao Thang Technical College, one of the leading vocational training schools in HCM City, despite getting admission to a university.

“I saw the high rate of employment of graduates from the school,” he explained to Viet Nam News.

Unlike in the past, many high school students now prefer to join vocational training schools.

In fact, in 2017, 25 per cent of them did not apply at all to universities and colleges, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

A student practises measuring electricity at Cao Thang Technical College in HCM City. – VIET NAM NEWS

Last year, vocational schools took in more than 2.2 million students, the ministry’s statistics showed, with many managing to admit a substantial number.

Xuan Loc Hoa Binh College in Dong Nai Province, for instance, stopped admissions by September after exceeding its quota by 15 per cent.

In past years it used to face difficulties in getting students, Dr Trinh Thanh Toan, its vice rector, told Lao Ðong & Xa Hoi (Labour & Society) magazine.

The Dong Nai Technical College exceeded its quota by 10 per cent.

In the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, many vocational schools such as Can Tho Technical Economic College, Can Tho Medical College, Can Tho Vocational Tourism College, and others too exceeded their quotas.

The jump in admissions has caused many schools to offer new streams this year.

The Can Tho Technical Economic College, for instance, is offering courses in managing natural resources and environment, export-import business, supermarket management, and management of transportation and logistics.

According to officials, after the management of vocational schools was handed over to the ministry, course lengths have been shortened from three years to 2.5 years at the college level and from two years to 1.5 years at the intermediate level.

This reduces the fee burden and enables students to start working earlier, they said.

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung said the attitude of society and students towards vocational education has changed.

The ministry too has done many things to help vocational schools attract more students, he said.

It plans to ensure vocational education helps improve the quality of human resources, meet the demand of the labour market and improve the country’s competitiveness, he said.