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As pandemic rages on in Vietnam, nearly 1 million high school students take graduation exam

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Despite the developments of COVID-19 in Vietnam, education authorities still stick to the plan to start the 2021 high school graduation exam, which involves the in-person attendance of nearly one million students, on Wednesday.

Traditionally held in July, the national high school graduation exam is an annual assessment that twelfth-grade students in Vietnam’s K-12 system are required to sit after they finish their studies.

Results of the test are needed for graduation and to help universities and colleges enroll undergraduates.

This year’s iteration of the exam is considered a momentous one as it is being held amidst the fourth and worst virus wave, which has driven Vietnam’s case count near 19,000 across 55 out of its 63 provinces and cities, as recorded since it first emerged at the end of April.

Back in 2020, the exam was delayed to August due to the epidemic situation. However, it has returned to the normal time frame of early July this year, even in provinces that are seeing an outbreak. 

In light of the situation, provincial authorities have committed efforts, manpower, and resources to ensuring epidemiological safety for test-takers. 

Many provinces and cities have tested all candidates for COVID-19 before the exam, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

Nguyen Thanh Phong (right), chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee visits an exam room in Le Hong Phong High School in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, July 7, 2021. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Thanh Phong (right), chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, visits an exam room at Le Hong Phong Specialized High School in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, July 7, 2021. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

Candidates sat for the first test of Vietnamese literature on Wednesday morning before taking the math test in the afternoon, both of which are compulsory subjects for all test-takers, according to the Ministry of Education and Training’s direction.

On Thursday, they will do three other tests of choice, including one in the ‘foreign language’ category; one among physics, chemistry, and biology in the ‘natural science’ classification; and another among history, geography, and civic education in the ‘social science’ group.

Pham Ngoc Thuong (right), Vietnam’s deputy minister of Education and Training, visits an exam venue in the northern Bac Giang Province, July 7, 2021. PhotoL Vinh Ha / Tuoi Tre

Pham Ngoc Thuong (right), Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Education and Training, visits an exam venue in northern Bac Giang Province, July 7, 2021. Photo: Vinh Ha / Tuoi Tre

On Wednesday morning, Pham Ngoc Thuong, Deputy Minister of Education and Training, visited northern Bac Giang Province, one of the largest epicenters of Vietnam in the fourth COVID-19 wave, to oversee the high school graduation exam.

Although the spread of COVID-19 in the province has generally been put under control, local authorities still had to suspend an exam venue at a high school after a student tested positive for COVID-19 during the screening process.

A student and his parent on the way to a venue of the national high school graduation exam in Can Tho City, July 7, 2021. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre

A student and his parent on the way to a venue of the national high school graduation exam in Can Tho City, Vietnam, July 7, 2021. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre

In southern Can Tho City, students had to endure a short shower before they reached exam rooms and took their first test.

“It has been raining since the early hours of the morning. I had to ask my friend to drive me to the venue,” said Nguyen Dang Thanh, a twelfth-grade student of Chau Van Liem High School in Can Tho.

“I’m slightly worried about the first day of the exam, but also confident about my performance in the literature subject.”

Nguyen Van Phuc (middle), deputy minister of Education and Training, visits an exam venue in Trung Vuong High School, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, July 7, 2021. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Van Phuc (middle), Deputy Minister of Education and Training, visits an exam venue at Trung Vuong High School in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, July 7, 2021. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

In the Mekong Delta’s Vinh Long Province, students showed up at exam venues as soon as 6:00 am to do check-in procedures.

As seen at the exam centers of Hoang Thai Hieu High School and Binh Minh High School, parents who accompanied their children had to pull over 50 meters away from the school gates and avoid forming large crowds in front of the schools.

“I’m worried about the COVID-19 situation, but hearing the at-risk exam officers were screened and superseded ahead of the test relieved me a little bit,” said Le Van Cong, a parent of a test-taker. 

A bus carries students in lockdown areas of Thua Thien-Hue Province to a venue for the national high school exam in Thua Luu High School, July 7, 2021. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A bus carries students from lockdown areas in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam to a venue for the national high school exam at Thua Luu High School, July 7, 2021. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

In Phu Loc District of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, many students were seen donning raincoats on the way to exam venues due to a sprinkle in the morning. 

A total of 13 students who live in cordoned areas in Loc Thuy Ward were allowed to leave to take the test at Thua Luu High School and Thua Luu Middle School. 

They were transported to the exam venues on two specialized buses, and were told to do the test in isolated rooms. 

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20210707/as-pandemic-rages-on-in-vietnam-nearly-1-million-high-school-students-take-graduation-exam/61936.html

Education

Vietnam wins three gold medals at 2021 Chemistry Olympiad

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Vietnam’s four-member team has bagged three gold and one silver medals at the 53rd International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO 2021), according to the Ministry of Education and Training.

All the winners are 12th graders, who attended the IChO 2021 held virtually by Japan from July 25 to August 2 with the participation of 79 countries and territories.

The three gold medalists include Nguyen Le Thao Anh and Nguyen Duy Anh of the Hanoi – Amsterdam High School for the Gifted, and Pham Duc Nam Phuong from Nguyen Trai High School for the Gifted in Hai Duong Province.

The silver medal went to Nguyen Hoang Duong of the Hanoi University of Science’s High School for Gifted Students under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi.

The Vietnamese chemistry team competed online at the Hanoi National University of Education under the direct supervision of the organizers from Japan.

Last month, Vietnamese students won three gold and two silver medals at the 2021 International Physics Olympiad.

The same month also saw the Vietnamese teams grab one gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the 2021 International Mathematical Olympiad, and one gold, two silvers and one bronze at the 2021 International Biology Olympiad.

Overall, 37 Vietnamese students have been honored at this year’s Olympiads, including 12 gold, 13 silver and 10 bronze medals, along with two certificates of merit.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20210804/vietnam-wins-three-golds-at-2021-chemistry-olympiad/62412.html

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Owners of kindergartens rush to sell schools due to prolonged COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam

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Many owners of private kindergartens in Vietnam have been trying to sell their schools after they ran out of money to maintain their operations following a prolonged shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Facebook group has even been established to facilitate the sale of private kindergartens in many localities.

A user named N.C. stated in his post that he wanted to transfer the ownership of a preschool in southern Binh Duong Province due to the pandemic.

“The venue was licensed in August 2020,” C. elaborated.

“About 30 students were learning at the school prior to the outbreak, with monthly tuition at VND2 million [US$87].”

Another Facebook account named Ngoc Linh said she had managed to survive the previous three waves, but can no longer maintain the operation of her kindergarten due to the current round.

Linh stated that the school was officially open in October 2019, adding that she has spent over VND1.5 billion ($65,300) on it so far.

She also offers to liquidate all equipment and tools inside the office, classrooms, and playground, along with air conditioning and CCTV systems at cheap prices.

Similar to Linh, N.T.H.P., who owns a preschool in Ho Chi Minh City, said she has been paying rental fees over the past months even though the venue was closed due to COVID-19.

“I don’t know when the kids are able to come back,” P. said.

“I have no other choice but to sell my school.”

N.T.U., who runs a network of seven kindergartens in several districts in Ho Chi Minh City, considered herself among the luckier as she is still able to keep her facilities.

“A lot of my peers have run out of money to maintain the operations of their schools,” U. elaborated.

“One of them told me he had to spend up to VND200 million [$8,700] covering monthly rental fees, teachers’ salary and insurance, as well as interest on his bank loan.”

After failing to sell the school, he eventually gave up and let the landlord take all equipment to pay his debt, U. stated.

Vietnam is struggling with the fourth and worst COVID-19 outbreak, with 170,563 local infections recorded in 62 provinces and cities since April 27.

Social distancing measures have been implemented across the nation, while students are required to stay home as part of pandemic prevention and control efforts.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20210804/owners-of-kindergartens-rush-to-sell-schools-due-to-prolonged-covid19-outbreak-in-vietnam/62402.html

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Hanoi cancels second phase of national high school exam amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Hanoi authorities on Wednesday announced that the second phase of the national high school graduation exam, which was initially slated for August 6-7, will be canceled due to concerns over the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community.

Traditionally held in July, the national high school graduation exam is an annual assessment that 12th-grade students in Vietnam’s K-12 system are required to sit after they finish their studies.

Results of the test are needed for graduation and to help universities and colleges enroll undergraduates.

On account of the coronavirus, this year’s iteration of the exam is implemented in two phases. 

While the first, carried out on July 7-8, involved the majority of candidates, the second phase is intended for students who were unable to finish their tests because of the pandemic.

In a recent guiding document, the Hanoi Department of Education and Training decided to pass all candidates who signed up for this year’s exam and did not get disciplined by the exam panel in the first phase, but were not able to complete or enter the first phase because of unforeseeable circumstances.

The department requires all high schools and educational centers to inform the eligible candidates about their granted privilege.

Those who wish to qualify for the privilege would need to apply to their respective education facilities through emails, so that the school officials can compile a list of candidates to submit to the municipal education authority. 

In their statement, the Hanoi Department of Education and Training also ordered education facilities to notify their students of the upcoming aptitude tests for the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City campuses of the Vietnam National University, which will supersede the national high school exam results to decide entrances to these higher institutions. 

Other higher education facilities are encouraged to devise their own tests, instead of using the national exam results, to evaluate their applicants.

The capital city has reported 1,082 COVID-19 infections since April 27, when the fourth wave started wreaking havoc in Vietnam.

On Saturday, Hanoi authorities began the implementation of the prime minister’s Directive No. 16, which requires all residents to stay home unless for essential duties, plus banning all public transport, taxi, ride-hailing, and food delivery services.

Vietnam on Thursday morning reported 2,821 new cases of COVID-19, increasing the country’s tally to 123,640 with 27,457 recoveries, according to the Ministry of Health.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20210729/hanoi-cancels-second-phase-of-national-high-school-exam-amid-covid19-outbreak/62313.html

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