Vietnamese students turn their backs to social sciences

Published: 22/04/2011 05:00



Educators have, once again, rung the alarm bell over the indifference of Vietnamese students to social science majors after they realized that the number of students registering to study social sciences is at a record low this exam season.

Parents tell children: learning aims to earn money

Thu, a small merchant, has a daughter, Thanh Mai, who is a third grader of Tan Mai Primary School. Mai leaves home early in the morning and returns home late in the afternoon. In the evening, Mai has tutoring lessons in mathematics and English with two teachers.

Though Mai is good at both literature and mathematics, Thu never intends to send her daughter to literature tutoring classes. Meanwhile, she always encourages the girl to focus on mathematics.

“She just needs to get five or six marks in literature. Meanwhile, she needs to learn mathematics more intensively. I want her to attend A-group university entrance exam later,” she said (A-group students have to take mathematics, physics and chemistry exams, i.e, natural sciences).

When asked why Thu does not let her daughter follow social science studies, Thu said “that social science majoring students find it very difficult to get good jobs nowadays, therefore, it would be better for her daughter to follow natural science studies.”

“You will get better job and earn more money if you finish economics school. In order to be able to enroll in economics schools, you should be good at mathematics, physics and chemistry instead of literature,” she explained.

Thu is not alone. Many other parents have the same way of thinking like Thu. They encourage their children to follow natural science studies, advising children not to spend too much time on social science subjects.

Thanh Thao, who has graduated the Hanoi University of Education, is still looking for a job, also said that she won’t let her children to follow social science studies in the future. She said that no one who works in the fields relating to social sciences dreams of earning tens of millions of dong a month, while such an income is completely within the reach of the people who work in economics relating fields.

Who do employers want? Social or natural science graduates?

Do Duc Thanh, Chair of Digisun, a film and communication program producer, said that not many candidates, who applied for the posts at the company, came from social science majors.

“I do not care which universities candidates graduate from. I would appreciate their practical thinking and the perseverance in the pursuit for their goals,” he said.

Thanh noted, that most candidates are still bad at foreign language skills, which is really a big obstacle for them to expand knowledge and to work in this field.

“The base knowledge of candidates is not good enough. Especially, the capability to get adapted to the job proves to be weak,” Thanh noted. He also said that many candidates have good base knowledge, but he does not know how to use the knowledge to solve concrete problems.

Another employer, who seeks candidates for the television industry, noted that a lot of university graduates cannot meet the requirements set by employers, because they do not necessary skills and logical thinking ability.

“There exists a big gap between the knowledge schools give to students, and the requirements employers want from candidates,” he said.

Therefore, many Vietnamese students want to go abroad to study at foreign universities instead of studying at domestic schools.

Chu Thi Thuy Duong, a 12th grader student of the Hanoi-Amsterdam School for the Gifted, the most famous school in Hanoi, also said that she will go abroad to study at a foreign university to become a psychologist.

Nguyen Huong

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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