Employers are complaining about the lack of skills of Vietnamese students and university graduates. Many of them don’t even know how to write an application for a job.
According to the World Bank, workers need technical, cognitive and behavioral skills.
Providing technical skills involves practicing and experiencing in reality. Technology majors need to practice with machines and equipment to obtain skills.
Behavioral skills take shape throughout life from school to working periods. Soft skills comprise teamwork, communication and negotiation. Cognitive skills form very early and improve gradually during the education process.
According to Nguyen Duy Dat from Trade University, Vietnamese students are weak at skills, including simpler communication and teamwork skills. They cannot write an application for jobs or prepare a document in a reasonable form.
Nguyen Hoang Anh, a lecturer of the Foreign Trade University, said she once worked with a PhD student who could not prepare a document with reasonable alignment.
The representative of a foreign invested enterprises complained that it took the enterprise two years to ‘erase’ all the knowledge and skills students received from school, and took two more years to train the students in the skills it wanted.
Thr students’ lack of basic skills is blamed on unreasonable training programs.
Most recently, deputy chair of the National Assembly’s Committee for Culture, Education, the Youth and Children Pham Tat Dong said this was the result of abuse of multiple-choice exams.
He said multiple-choice exam questions affect students’ thinking ability. Instead of explaining the steps of solving questions, students just need to circle A, B, C or D answers. They do not need presentation skills when solving exam questions.
Dong has called on the education ministry to reconsider exam questions, saying that it would be better if the proportion of multiple-choice and explanation-based exam questions is more reasonable.
Ngo Thi Minh, a National Assembly’s Deputy, agreeing with the idea, said the education ministry needs to discuss with universities on whether to apply multiple-choice questions for history and math tests.
Multiple-choice exam questions have been controversial since the day they first appeared in Vietnam. Many experts oppose the exam method, saying that this method cannot truly assess students’ ability.