Vietnamese parents spend 10 hours a week helping with homework

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Vietnam’s Productivity Problem

Academic pressure and mental wellbeing are parents’ top concerns for their children. Vietnamese parents spend on average 10 hours each week helping their children with homework, only second to Indian parents who put in 12 hours, a new global survey revealed.

The Global Parent Survey found that half of Vietnamese parents said they devoted more than seven hours each week to their child’s education, more than any other country surveyed apart from India at 62 percent.

Overall, parents in emerging economies generally devoted much more time to homework than their counterparts in richer countries, Varkey Foundation, which surveyed 27,380 parents across 29 countries concluded.

In addition, Vietnamese parents are the most satisfied, joint with Mexico and Argentina, of all those surveyed with the amount of help they’re giving their children, with 67 percent saying the hours they’re putting in are about right.

The phenomenon reflects the widely known fact that most Vietnamese parents prize their children’s education, considered a ticket to a successful career, above all else.

“Vietnamese parents would sacrifice everything, sell their houses and land just to give their children an education,” Vietnam’s education minister Phung Xuan Nha said at a conference in 2016.

And the statistics are telling. Academic pressure is the top anxiety 54 percent of Vietnamese parents have about their child at school, the second highest in the world after Singapore (56 percent) and much higher than the global average (30 percent), the report said.

Other top concerns for Vietnamese parents are their children’s personal safety (43 percent) and mental wellbeing (42 percent).

But when it comes to improving Vietnamese schools, most parents, 57 percent, want additional funding directed to extra-curricular activities, the third highest in the world, followed by buildings and other facilities (49 percent).

Interestingly, while only 41 percent of Vietnamese parents would want additional funding to go to teachers’ pay, 58 percent consider quality of teaching the most important factor when choosing their child’s school, the third highest among the surveyed countries.

Overall, Vietnamese parents appear to be optimistic about their child’s future. Seventy percent of them believe their child’s school is preparing them well for the world of 2030 and beyond, well above the global average of 64 percent, the survey said.

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