Universal Periodic Review of Vietnam

The following report has been drafted by Broken Chalk as a stakeholder contribution to the The Socialist Republic of VietNam.

  • In education, Viet Nam has shown some outstanding achievements. The literacy rate is above 95%, and the country is committed to creating intellectual growth and development. Children start education at primary school from six years old until they are 11 years old. Primary education is compulsory and free of charge, resulting in a completion rate of 98%.[i]
  • After primary school, children move on to lower secondary school, completed by 87% of the children. Lastly, the children attend upper secondary school, completed by 59%. It is important to note that 92% of the wealthiest people end up in upper secondary school, and only 31% of the poorest people; this is a significant difference and shows the critical role of economic backgrounds in shaping educational outcomes.[ii]
  • Gender-based differences in completion rates are minimal, with very close rates for primary and secondary school. The most significant difference is in the completion rate for upper secondary education, where 51% of men and 65% of women graduate.
  • One of the reasons for Viet Nam’s high-quality education is the skilled teachers. Teachers receive extra training and are allowed to make the classes more engaging and exciting, improving the overall learning experience for students. Notably, the quality of education remains consistent across rural and urban schools. This is partly due to the government’s initiative to attract more teachers to remote areas by paying them more.[iii]
  • To continuously improve education, the Vietnamese Government mandates that all provinces invest 20% of their budget into education. The government has also created the ‘Fundamental School Quality Level Standards’, a framework that ensures universal access to education and guarantees minimum standards across all primary schools.[iv]
  • However, there are some problems in Vietnamese schools. Many LGBTQ students are harassed at school and do not see school as a safe space, sometimes leading LGBTQ students to drop out or even become homeless. Some problems arise due to natural disasters, which disproportionately affect students of poorer families.
  • Viet Nam has ratified most conventions such as CAT, ICCPR, CEDAW, CERD, CESCR, CRPD, and the CRC, accompanied by the two optional protocols (Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in armed conflict, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children child prostitution and child pornography). However, Viet Nam has not ratified the 1960 Convention on Discrimination in Education.[v]

By Fenna Eelkema

Download the PDF.



[i] “Viet Nam SDGCW Survey 2020-2021,” UNICEF, accessed August 14, 2023, https://www.unicef.org/vietnam/media/8686/file/Education.pdf.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] “Why are Vietnam’s schools so good” The Economist, accessed August 14, 2023, https://www.economist.com/asia/2023/06/29/why-are-vietnams-schools-so-good.

[iv] “School Education System In Vietnam” Education destination Asia, accessed August 15, 2023, https://educationdestinationasia.com/essential-guide/vietnam/education-system-in-vietnam.

[v] “Ratification of International Human Rights Treaties – Vietnam” University of Minnesota, Human Rights Library, accessed August 14, 2023, http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/research/ratification-vietnam.html.

Cover image by Hector García via Wikimedia

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *