Viet Nam News
Đào Quang Vinh, Director of the Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs, speaks to the newspaper Kinh tế & Đô thị (Economic and Urban Affairs) about the importance of learning a foreign language for job seekers.
Results of the recent high school graduation exams showed students’ marks for English were very low. In your opinion, what can we do to improve English language skills?
I should say that one of the weakest points of Vietnamese workers, in this time of deep international integration, is their foreign language capacity and ability.
The only way to improve foreign language skills is to attend either formal or informal classes. Particularly, at general schools, the timetabling for foreign languages should be more intensive. Meanwhile, at colleges or universities, foreign language must be a compulsory subject with standard sets of input and output criteria.
As we all know, Việt Nam is a member of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), we want our working people to go to work in any other AEC member country, so English or another foreign language will become compulsory.
At the recent school graduation exam, 32 per cent of 12th graders – equal to 286,000 students, attended the exam in order to get the high school graduation certificates. In your opinion, what should vocational schools do to attract these students?
We don’t expect that all students attending the school graduation exams will go to universities, colleges or vocational schools. But, to my knowledge, students who have good academic records will go to universities or colleges while the others may apply for vocational schools or join the labour force immediately.
Experiences from other countries show that students taking on vocational training have achieved comparable success to their university/college peers.
In other words, learning is a life time opportunity for everyone. For those who can’t go to university immediately after graduation from general school, they can still apply for an advance degree course later in life.
In reality, quite a lot of high school graduates have joined the labour force immediately, particularly at joint foreign venture companies. Do you think there will be some labour disadvantages for them in terms of labour safety skills?
Before joining the labour force, all newcomers have to attend a certain course on labour safety skills. But, in reality, there is a high turn over of labour in Việt Nam, particularly in unskilled jobs. This is true of workers at foreign invested enterprises.
In my opinion, in the case of secondary graduates, they should follow a job skill training course – a very important pass for them to secure a sustainable job.
On the side of the employers, it’s their responsibility to give short job training courses for newly recruited workers.
What is your advice for students who only want to have a high school certificate?
The high school certificate is an important paper indicating that he/she has completed the general school programme. But in anyone’s life, acquiring a job certificate is a must. The job certificate will help them have a sustainable job and good earning potential. — VNS