Many students graduating from secondary high schools have chosen to pursue the 9+ model. — Photo courtesy of nhandan.com.vn
HCM CITY — Formal training carried out hand in hand with vocational training for students graduating from secondary high school, known as the 9+ model, has gradually changed society’s perspective on vocational education.
Instead of trying to enter the 10th grade by any means, many students have chosen to pursue the 9+ model and have a professional career after three to four years of study.
Nguyễn Hồng Thắm from Gò Vấp District said she was worried that her child was too young for the 9+ model, particularly vocational training at HCM City International College.
However, her child is now completing the intermediate programme with a major in pharmacy in October and will continue her college education next year.
After three years at HCM City International College, Thắm is proud that her child is able to prescribe medicine for certain patients, speak English well, and most importantly, be socially active.
“Similar to other parents, I did not have a great impression about the 9+ model because I didn't want my child to suffer from educational quality that I wasn't sure about. That said, I have come to realise that the 9+ model offers many interesting benefits. Rather than struggling to enter the 10th grade when my child was not actually good at formal training, my child has been able to complete the intermediate programme and then prepare for college and university. The total time spent to get a university degree will be 5.5 years, less than that of formal training.” she said.
“I am very happy seeing my child thrive in life,” Thắm added.
The 9+ model attracted 70 students in the first year, but the number is expected to double in the following year.
This year, the HCM City International College has planned 300 slots for eight majors, including pharmacy, business administration, restaurant and hotel management, kitchen management and food, tour guide, computer network administration, graphic design and industrial electricity.
About 50 per cent of the spots have been taken.
In addition to training in seven subjects that help students register for the national high school graduation exam if they want to take it, the HCM City International College has a high English standard for students during the entire process.
The principal of the HCM City International College, Nguyễn Đăng Lý, said that it can be challenging to persuade parents and students to pursue the 9+ model.
“Each college must try their best to promote the programme in addition to having support from preferential policies from the General Department of Vocational Education,” Lý said.
“It is important to focus on improving the quality of the course so that it is relevant to real demand. At HCM City International College, we always set out specific training plans for each grade and how much time students receive for real-life practice at certain enterprises. Everything must be done seriously in order to change society’s perception about vocational training while refraining from wasting human resources,” he added.
HCM City Lý Tự Trọng College this year has 2,500 slots for the 9+ model out of a total 6,500 slots in nearly 50 occupations.
According to the principal of the HCM City Lý Tự Trọng College, Phạm Hữu Lộc, about 2,200 students have signed up for the 9+ model so far, accounting for 88 per cent of the expected target. Compared to the academic year of 2017 and 2018, this figure is eight times higher. This has proven that the 9+ model is on the right track.
Lộc emphasised the importance of providing students with real-life experiences when pursuing the 9+ model. In order for society to properly recognise the role of the 9+ model, all schools need to have a smart communication strategy while investing in renewing their training programmes.
“We have trained a team of lecturers that both have good teaching skills and understand student’s psychology. As students at this age are not mature enough, teachers’ flexibility is important. We have also built an appealing training programme in which students can study and visit and enjoy real-life work activities in designated business firms to have a better understanding of their career choices. Most importantly, we always stay connected with the parents and tell them about important information,” Lộc said.
Currently, the HCM City Lý Tự Trọng College has connections with over 1,000 enterprises so that students have more chances to earn a stable income after graduating.
This approach has been embraced by many colleges in HCM City in recent years. Many schools have requested that representatives from enterprises give lessons or have sent lecturers outside to learn from professionals in the field.
Recently, the HCM City International College set up a business-related club to create more jobs and increase meaningful connections between students and enterprises.
The 9+ model has successfully created effective diversification among secondary high school students with different needs.
Experts said that developed countries use this model in order to ensure a balanced labour rate in the market while reducing the loss of human resources. — VNS