Gifted and talented programs have been a part of the Vietnam public system for years. In 1965, first faculty for Maths and Computer Science was set up and from then on, specialized schools proved to an attraction for top students.
A survey carried out in Hanoi has shown that the majority of parents wanted their children to participate in a school gifted education program .
Notwithstanding attractiveness to parents and students, schools for gifted students are criticized because these schools focus on training students to become “industrial chicken” who will sit for national and international tests. If special schools keep its training strategies, it will be old-fashioned in the present context of Industry 4.0.
Gifted education (also known as gifted and talented education (GATE), talented and gifted programs (TAG), or G/T education) is a broad group of special practices, procedures, and theories used in the education of children who have been identified as gifted or talented.
Principal of a school for gifted students Bien Hoa in the Northern Province of Ha Nam Pham Thi Ngan noted that many students are not interested in learning Russia, History and Geography. Worse, several students wanted to study in other schools after they had passed entrance examination into the school. Moreover students are not eager when they are selected in the national team.
Former student of a school for gifted students Tran Thuy Linh, who is a teacher in some special schools in Hanoi now, voiced that it needs a reform for such special schools. According to Linh, the sector should relieve pressure on examinations.
Deputy Director of the Department of Education and Training in Ha Nam Province Pham Anh Tuan admitted that because of too concentration on international and national tests, schools and teachers will abandon other students; teachers and students in the national team suffer high pressure. Some schools even neglect extra-activities, social skills and emotional intelligence.
Director of The Ivy-League Vietnam Giang Nguyen said that the Gifted Education Program (GEP) is being applied in Singapore, the US, South Korea and Japan; therefore, Vietnam should not delete such school but pour more investment to reform them instead.
Simultaneously, the education sector should take heed of enrollment and teachers’ skills. Students must do scientific research of their major and write essay, topics weekly. Students are encouraged to carry out personal researches.
Phan Thanh Binh, Head of the National Assembly's Committee for Culture, Education, Youth, Adolescent and Children, said that schools for gifted students must provide comprehensive education to train good individuals for the country’s growth. Educators should pay attention to training of soft skill and emotional intellectual rather than IQ.