In Vietnam, it is officially a five-year compulsory school. The primary school is five years old and starts when the children are six years old. Then follows four-year high school and three-year high school.
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Almost all children start in primary school. Equal educational opportunities for all are an important political goal in the country, and education is being used as a driving force for economic growth. The population has a high level of writing and reading skills compared to other countries in the region. According to UNESCO (2009), approximately 6.5 percent of the adult population is illiterate.
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There are over a hundred higher education institutions. The University of Hanoi was established in 1956 (with precursors from 1907 and 1918 as the main university of French Indochina).
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The CCP continues to face political liberalization and has been wary of its economic liberalization for fear of a massive return of emigrants and Western influence in the country. Still, Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet is urging members of his government to study languages - especially English.
Vietnam and the United States formally resumed diplomatic relations in August 1995. At the same time, Bill Clinton expressed his concern about the fate of the 2,200 North American soldiers reported missing in action in Southeast Asia. The rapprochement between Hanoi and Washington was clear in 1996, but did not immediately lead to a massive invasion of North American companies. Nevertheless, many multinational companies expressed their interest in the Vietnamese market in the hope of continued liberalization of the economy.
Vietnam’s socio-economic life in 1997 was characterized by the peasants’ ongoing struggle against poverty as a result of the economic crisis that has hit Vietnam’s neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. The crisis has also prompted the party to step up its efforts to contain possible social upheavals.
In September, Tran Duc Luong was elected as new president and Phan Van Khai as new prime minister. According to observers, they constitute a continuation of the economic line of their predecessors, but are at the same time a “rejuvenation” of the party’s leadership. In December, the CCP Central Committee decided to replace three of its most important figures: President Lê Duc Anh, Prime Minister Vo Van Kiêt and at the same time civilian Le Kha Phieu was appointed new Secretary-General to replace aging leader Du Muoi.
In April 1998, since January, the southern provinces had ravaged the destruction of 7,000 thousand hectares of coffee plantations, while 40,000 out of a total area of 160,000 were in danger of being destroyed if the rain did not immediately set in. From its economic opening in the 1980s, Vietnam has increased its coffee area from 15 to 260,000 acres across the country. The coffee is predominantly exported to Europe and the United States.
The economic crisis that hit the region in 1998 only slowed growth in Vietnam, falling from 8.8% in 1997 to 6.1% in 1998. But to maintain international competitiveness, the government was forced to devalue its currency twice. Foreign direct investment fell 70% year-on-year. In September, Vietnam was admitted as a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum, APEC.
A typhoon and heavy rains in 1998 as well as floods in 1999 – the worst in decades that cost hundreds of dead – negatively affected the country’s economy. Several environmental organizations stated that the consequences of the floods had been greater due to the unrestrained felling of the forests for commercial purposes. In a speech to Parliament, Prime Minister Khai noted that the crisis was also due to low consumption, rising stocks of unsold products and inefficiency in state-owned enterprises.
The Communist Party demanded the resignation of one of the Deputy Prime Ministers, Ngo Xuan Loc, and that the former Director of the National Bank, Cao Sy Kiem, be punished. Both were charged with corruption and fraud.
The signing of a border demarcation agreement with China in December 1998 marked as follows. both governments “a new era” in relations between the two countries. Prior to the agreement, eight years of negotiations had passed and the settlement of border disputes at sea between the two countries will only be resolved later.