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Vocational schools make pitch to students, parents

Update: July, 16/2012 - 10:53

HCM CITY — Vocational high schools in HCM City are counselling students in choosing courses based on their skills and labour market needs, and persuading parents that they can send their children to these schools without jeopardis-ing their prospects of later going to university, a city official said.

Pham Ngoc Thanh, deputy director of the Department of Education and Training, said they are coaxing people against forcing children who failed to get into public high schools to study subjects in vogue like information technology (IT).

The Ben Thanh Vocational High School counselled a number of students, who were confused about their future because they did not know where their skills lay, in the last two months, just ahead of the high school entrance exams two weeks ago.

It has provided them with information about its training courses and the labour market.

This year State-owned high schools have received an overwhelming 76,500 applications while they can take in only 59,000. The rest necessarily have to go to private and vocational high schools, the department said.

Vocational high schools have to fill in more than 2,800 places and have started to aggressively promote their courses at junior high schools and encourage school staff to discuss their educational and training options.

Nguyen Thi Anh, a ninth grader in Tan Phu District, and her friends attended a vocational counselling programme at Ben Thanh last month.

She said: "A closer relationship between students, schools, and employers would help young people improve their knowledge of what to study and the labour market.

"I hope educational authorities will provide more support to develop a better education and career counselling and guidance system at secondary schools and vocational training centres."

Thanh said the Government has in place new policies to support students studying in vocational high schools.

After three-and-a-half or four years of studies at these schools, students can go on to sit college and university entrance exams, he said.

The city plans to build ot upgrade five vocational high schools in Districts 2, 10, Binh Tan, Binh Chanh, and Thu Duc this year.

New vocational high schools opened in Nha Be and Binh Thanh Districts will enrol students starting this year. — VNS

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