Vietnamese and Australian Education
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Australia and Vietnam are the two countries located on different continents. In fact, the educations of the two countries also have some similarities as well as differences. If someone wants to study abroad in Australia, he can make a comparison and contrast analysis before making the final decision that whether he should go or not. Let’s start with the similarities. We can see that both education systems of Australian and Vietnam have twelve grades, from 1 to 12. Also schooling is compulsory for students until the age of fifteen. After finishing general education, almost students in Australia go on their studying at TAFE (Technical And Further Education) or colleges or universities and so do Vietnamese students. Furthermore, both Australia and Vietnam have public school which are co-educational, with boys and girls encouraged to participate equally in class. Despite the similarities, the two educations have some very important differences in system division, kinds of school, school-time and studying.
The first major difference between Vietnamese and Australian education is the system division. Let’s begin with the basics of Australian education system. Initially, there is preschool (also called kindergarten), which started when you are five. The following year, a year called prep is done and then primary school goes from grade 1 to 6 and secondary school from grade 7 to 12 (however, in some states secondary school starts in grade 8). In Vietnam, we have kindergarten for children from three or four months to the age of five. Then, with general education we have primary school (from grade 1 to 5), middle school (from grade 6 to 9) and high school (from grade 10 to 12). Another obvious difference that we can see from these two educations is the kinds of school. In Australia, you can choose to have your children educated in public (state government) or private (independent) schools through the country. Education at public schools is free in most states, although most schools have a small voluntary annual fee to cover extra activities.
Generally, when attending a public school in Australia, you will borrow text books for the year, but in a private school you will buy text books to keep. In Vietnam, when we study at public school, our parents still pay all study fee which includes many kind and also extra-fee (insurance, for example). Also, no matter which kind of school you enter, you have to buy text books and other necessary equipments. Another point is that, though Australian public and private school are considered to have equal educational quality, private school may have better quality for the children whose parents can afford it. On the contrary, Vietnamese public school often has better quality than a private one, which is often thought to have students who study not well. In addition, many Australian private schools (but not all) are either exclusively all boys or all girls. It is quite different from Vietnam because almost schools here, both public and private schools, are co-educational. Moreover Australia private schools are mostly religious and some are catholic whereas these kinds of school are not popular in Vietnam. The third difference is the school-time.
For example, in Australia, the school-year is done in four terms each consisting of anywhere from nine to eleven weeks. School holidays are one week in April, two weeks in June or July, two weeks in September and seven or eight weeks over summer in December or January (the number of weeks off over the summer will depend on your school, your level and state you live in). In Vietnam, one school-year usually includes two terms, first term last for five months (from September to about January) and second one will finish by the next four months (from February to early June). We have two main holidays which are Tet (or Lunar New Year) and summer holiday. On the Lunar New Year’s Days we often have about one week off school (it may be longer or shorter). After finishing nine-month school-year we, in theory, have three months of summer holiday. However, in fact extra-studying shortens the time down to one months or less (especially to students grade 9 or 12).
Apart from these above points, there are still other small differences related to studying between Australian and Vietnamese education. For instance, you are senior years (grade 11 and 12), you can choose six subjects from a selection of forty, so it’s quite easy to select ones that are useful for you in the future. But in Vietnam, students have to study many subjects though some of them are theoretic and not practical. Also, Vietnamese students have too much extra-study, which is rare or does not exist in Australia. The marking is also different because while in Australia, marking in done on a scale of A – E (A is the best, E is the worst), Vietnamese marking mostly follows the scale of 1 – 10. In conclusion, besides some common features, Australian education has many obvious differences from Vietnamese that we can easily find out. This is simply the result of the differences in economy and geographical location of the two countries. Each has its strengths as well as weaknesses through some points such as system division, kinds of school, school-time or studying. But in general, Australia seems to have a better educational environment and is consequently a good destination for people who want to study abroad.