Schools in Hà Nội accused of coercing failing students to skip exams or switch schools

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Students at a high school entrance exam in Hà Nội last June. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Some public secondary schools in Hà Nội have been accused of asking ninth graders with poor academic results to change to private schools or not register for the high school entrance exams, so their schools’ performance is not negatively affected.

Images of texts allegedly between teachers and students’ parents went viral on social networks on Tuesday night, in which a teacher of a secondary school in Hà Nội asked students’ parents to send their children to another school or write a commitment that the students will not register for the high school entrance exams in the next two months.

Such information has caused anger in public as the requirements violate the students’ right to study.

Upon hearing of the allegations, the Ministry of Education and Training asked schools and authorities to verify the information and strictly crackdown if violations are found, Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper reported.

Hà Nội’s Department of Education and Training also asked the education and training departments of districts and towns to review and check if the phenomenon occurs in reality.

The city’s education department said that: “The study and registration of enrollment aspirations in high schools are the rights and needs of students and their parents. In the post-secondary educational orientation, schools just offer consultations for students and their parents to help them make appropriate non-coercive choices.”

The city has planned to organise the high school entrance exam on June 18-20, in which ninth-graders will sit for tests in literature, foreign languages, maths and a specialised subject. This year, the city expects about 129,000 students to graduate from secondary school, an increase of about 19,000 students compared to the 2020-2021 school year.

However, only about 60 per cent of secondary school graduates (about 77,000 students) have the opportunity to enter the 10th grade in public schools while the rest go to private schools (about 27,000 students). Continuing education centres (which offer education services to people who can not access official education channels or want to learn to enrich knowledge/skills) recruit about 12,900 students, the rest about 12,100 children attend vocational education institutions. — VNS

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