Deputy Minister of Education Bùi Văn Ga
Bùi Văn Ga, Deputy Minister of Education, speaks to Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper about positive changes in launching the ‘three in one’ examination for 12th graders in Việt Nam
Do you have any comments on the recently ended three day national high school exams?
The exam this year was quite different from the past. In previous years, 12th graders had to undertake three exams; namely: the high school graduation exam, the university entrance exam and the college entrance exam. In addition, each exam was held in a different locality
However, this year 12th graders only had to sit the national high school exam. That’s why the exam this year has helped cut a big financial cost for both students and the universities and colleges.
To ensure that the exam took place in a safe and sound manner, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) mobilised 90,000 staff members, of which 40,000 came from universities and colleges, plus tens of thousands of volunteers.
The recent high school exams were well organised and saved a lot of money for both society and students themselves, particularly students’ travel and associated costs.
Has the MOET estimated how much money it was able to save this year?
In the past, with three separate examinations, it cost both the students and the MOET a fortune. Roughly calculated, it cost each student at least several million đồng. With about one million students, the total cost would be several trillion đồng.
However, to prepare for this year’s exam, the MOET gave some financial support to all localities nationwide. But the sum was modest. All in all, I should say, the way the exam was held this year saved society and the students’ families quite a lot of money.
What’s more important is that through lessons learned this year, from next year on, we can assign the task of organising the exam to local authorities.
Do you think the exams were well organised and the results reliable?
One of the objectives in holding the high school graduation exams this year was to prevent negative practices during the exams. Four out of five exams were held as multiple-choice and each candidate sitting in the same room was given a different test. In addition, students were closely monitored by inspectors.
To ensure fair marking, this year MOET increased the number of inspectors. Their mission is to closely follow the marking process from the beginning to end.
In addition, each testing site in all 63 provinces and cities nationwide will have two university inspectors sent there to monitor the test marking process.
What lessons has the MOET learned in the last three years of renewing exams?
Striking news came to me when I learned that the number of students sitting social-science tests accounted for more than 50 per cent while, students sitting history accounted for almost 60 per cent. This was good news for us, totally beyond our expectations!
In the last few years, the MOET did its best to encourage students to learn history. But the result was not up to our expectation – just less than 15 per cent.
Similarly, in this year exams, we included the subject ‘citizenship education’ which was well supported.
This is a positive sign for us to make the subject compulsory._VNS