The heart of Vietnamese culture values education and teachers very highly
I have written frequently about the Vietnamese thirst for education, how it has created a dynamic, highly educated workforce particularly in the technology sector. I came across Professor Gerald Fry’s blog which gives a wonderful insight into why the country has developed an obsession with education. Fry’s perceptions of the Vietnamese workforce are the same as mine, developed from 12 years of personal experience whilst building the Harvey Nash software business in Vietnam. Employing 4,500 software engineers does give a good insight into the educational environment.
Fry says,” With a better educated work force, Vietnam has achieved considerable success in attracting international investments. I have numerous entrepreneur friends in East Asian countries such as Japan and Korea who have expressed considerable satisfaction with their Vietnamese workers. I would argue that Vietnam probably has the best quality (relative to cost) workforce in the world.”
His reasoning as to why the culture values teachers and academic achievement so highly is really interesting: “There are four key themes of Vietnamese history that are important to understand. First, Vietnam spent over 1,000 years under the direct influence of China. Second, Vietnam frequently has to confront many natural disasters such as floods and typhoons. This forced them to develop innovative responses such as the huge dykes that protect Hanoi from the Red River floods. Third, Vietnam faced serious threats from external invaders such as the Mongols, the Chinese, the French, and finally the Americans. To defeat these invaders, the Vietnamese showed great ingenuity and cleverness. Fourth, the heart of Vietnamese culture is the village, where education and teaching were highly valued.” Says Gerald W Fry, Professor, Department of Organisational Leadership, Policy, and Development, at the University of Minnesota.
March 20, 2012 02:05 PM | Permalink