School is not for everyone
In Vietnam, despite compulsory schooling, not all children go to school. Especially the children whose parents are poor do not go to school. Almost all children go to school, but only 66 out of 100 go to school for the first five years. Most of them leave school because they simply cannot pay the debt or the money for school materials. Many children also have to work in order to make a living. Every tenth of the five to 17 year old children has to work, sometimes even more than 42 hours a week. It is particularly common in rural areas for children to help.
Pressure to perform is quite normal
On the other hand, there are also children who can go to school but are just as overworked as the children from poor families. Many Vietnamese live according to the Confucian tradition that everyone can advance through learning. Some Vietnamese children have to go to school until noon, then receive piano lessons or tutoring and still have to do their homework. For rich families, it goes without saying that the children make the most of their education. But children from poor families are also under great pressure, because their parents often work very hard so that they can send their children to school and accordingly expect that this effort will be recognized with good grades.
Teachers writing cheat sheets?
In Vietnam, not only are many students under pressure – the teachers too! In Vietnam it is quite normal for students to do their Abitur. In many schools, out of 100 children, only eight fail. If a child fails, the teacher is often blamed. Many measure the talent of a teacher by how many students he successfully gets through the exams. That’s why there were always cases in which the teachers helped the students with cheat sheets so that everyone could make it.
A land of contrasts
Vietnam is a land of contrasts. Some of the people in the megacities live like in the West, the standard of living is high, most children go to school and later also have the chance to learn a trade. The parents also spend a lot of money to give the children a good education.
But 76 out of 100 Vietnamese do not live in a big city, but in the countryside. Most of them work in agriculture and live from fishing. The cultivation of rice is very important for Vietnam. The largest cultivation areas are in the Red River Delta in the north of Vietnam and in the Mekong Delta in the south. But many people also work as day laborers in the cities. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the old and the weak to keep up with the young.
Poverty and Wealth
A large number of people live in poverty, while a small part enjoys prosperity. In Vietnam there is a lot of work, and the children also have to help their parents very early. They support the family with the field work or in the market to sell fruit or vegetables. And often very early in the morning.
Modernity and backlog
Some people still live in houses or, better still, in dwellings that look like dark holes that have no wooden floors. They sleep on the floor and there is no water for flushing and washing or even a toilet. But in cities like Hanoi, everyone is online, connected and has Facebook access. Free wifi is more common in Vietnam than here. People use smartphones and tablets, wear designer clothes and go to the gym. They live in high-rise buildings and shop in fine boutiques, that is Vietnam too.
Girls and boys
In Vietnam, girls are still considered worth less than boys. That has a lot to do with people’s image of women and men. Although most women now also go to school and a large number are employed, most parents want sons. Although there is officially equal rights, since many people still live very traditionally, daughters are often still viewed as inferior to sons. That has to do with old traditions and role models. As in many other countries around the world, there is still some catching up to do.
Minorities in Vietnam
The ethnic minorities of Vietnam are affected by poverty and are disadvantaged. They often live in the mountainous regions of the country. There is almost no work here. There are more than 50 ethnic groups in Vietnam. The largest group is formed by the Kinh, to which an average of 88 belong to 100 Vietnamese. This ethnic group originally comes from northern Vietnam and parts of southern China. Overall, China has a great influence on Vietnam and the Chinese form the second largest minority there after the Kinh. But there are many other ethnic minorities, such as the Muong, the Khmer and various groups from Thailand. For more information about Vietnam and Asia, please visit ezinereligion.
Thick and thin
While 20 out of 100 children in Vietnam are malnourished, 30 out of 100 children in the big cities are overweight. Seven out of 100 children are even classified as obese. How can something like that be? While some eat too much, others have too little? Why not just swap? Incidentally, this does not only apply to children, adults are now too fat in large cities like Ho Chi Minh City.
Why are many children in Vietnam too fat?
But why is that? The Vietnamese diet looks very healthy at first glance. And McDonalds hasn’t been around for that long, the first restaurant opened in Ho Chi Minh City in 2014. But other unhealthy food from the west has been around for a long time. This includes the many fast food chains that we have. Many children exercise too little and sit in front of the television or computer. And even though they overeat, they are not getting enough vitamins. A problem that we unfortunately also know about ourselves.