A survey indicates that the quality of education in the country is constantly declining. For Prof Hoàng Tuy, “Shortcomings in and harm to education have accumulated and reached an extreme level. We can no longer tolerate them. Now a total overhaul of education is the first order of business.”

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Education for young Vietnamese is getting worse. A survey among high school students in Ho Chi Minh City shows that 32.2 per cent are disrespectful towards teachers, 38.8 per cent uses foul language often and 53.6 per cent does it sometimes.

Another survey indicates that from 2005 to the present the number of students involved in antisocial behaviour increased in both frequency and gravity. The rise in sexual abuse is another aspect of the broader moral decline among young people.

In 2011 alone, 1386 minors were sexually abused by adults, that is 11.8 per cent more than in 2010. Of these, 51 were killed, 427 raped, 495 forced to have intercourse with adults and 128 intentionally injured. Many children and teenagers have also become the victims of human trafficking through the border with China, Thailand and Cambodia.

AsiaNews spoke with Prof Hoàng Tuy, 84, who recently won the first Constantin Caratheodory Prize established by the International Society of Global Optimisation. He is very concerned about the state of education in Vietnam.

“Education is an urgent matter. Our life increasingly needs an overall reform of education if we do not want our country to remain backward . . . . Shortcomings in and harm to education have accumulated and reached an extreme level. We can no longer tolerate them. Now a total overhaul of education is the first order of business. Reality requires us to change the current state of education.”

When the educational level of a country reaches such a low level, it becomes imperative for society to wake up, the professor said, from ordinary citizens to its leaders.

“An enlightened education must begin with a true democratic spirit and determination to build a clean, just and civilised society, and train its leadership in view of this,” he said. “Today, the moral decline and unlawful behaviour by young people should alarm families, schools and universities. The sense of morality among young generations is going down.”

A decline in academic ethics as well as lying and dishonesty among public officials are among the reasons for this trend, the scholar noted. They affect young people in particular. On the other hand, university education appears to be the key to ensure an overall higher quality education, but for decades, policies in this area have been inadequate, touching the lives of millions of students.

“Education must be at the top of the nation’s priority list. The role of education is important and affects the country’s survival. It is the foundation of society and helps maintain and develop values.”

It is a social good and as such, “the government should create the conditions that allow religions and the Vietnamese people to participate in the education of younger generations. We need a healthy social environment free of corruption, respectful of human dignity, freedom of religion and human rights for all.”

(Source: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Education,-a-priority-for-Vietnam’s-youth-23813.html)