Vietnamese students celebrate their 2020 graduation

School graduation is a big milestone in every student’s life, marking the completion of an academic year and celebrating students’ efforts and achievements.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most students across the globe cannot celebrate their graduation in traditional caps or gowns, while many have to join virtual graduation ceremonies instead.

For Vietnamese students, this year’s graduation could not have been more memorable, as they were able to join real-life graduation ceremonies 2 months after returning to school from the COVID-19 lockdown. From dancing to throwing colored powder on one another, the students seized the opportunity to enjoy the last days of school life with their classmates to the fullest.

Vietnamese students have fun at graduation ceremonies

Vietnam 2020 graduation_students cap and gown
Image credit: Tin giáo dục TP. Hồ Chí Minh

From 10th-12th July, many students across Vietnam dressed in their graduation gowns and hats came together to celebrate the end of their 2020 school year.

Vietnam 2020 graduation_students performing
Image credit: Tin giáo dục TP. Hồ Chí Minh 

Some of the activities that normally take place at a Vietnamese graduation ceremony include diploma conferment, recognition of students’ exemplary behavior and academic achievements, farewell and thank-you speeches, group photos, yearbook signing, and performances – and all were conducted as they always are this year.

Vietnam 2020 graduation_students crying
Two students tearing up at their graduation ceremony
Image credit: Tin giáo dục TP. Hồ Chí Minh

Candid shots taken at graduation ceremonies show emotional farewell moments between students and teachers, as well as the joy in the parents’ eyes as they saw their children celebrating their academic milestones.

Vietnam 2020 graduation_Vietnamese students graduate
Students’ parents were also present at the graduation ceremonies
Image adapted from: Tin giáo dục TP. Hồ Chí Minh

Meanwhile, there were schools who took a more festive approach to celebrating graduation. The students of Marie Curie High School in Ho Chi Minh City memorialized their final days in school with one another with a lot of laughter, playful colored powder fights, and water pistols.

Vietnam 2020 graduation_colored powder tossing
Image credit: Tin giáo dục TP. Hồ Chí Minh

The 2020 school year has been quite challenging for Vietnamese students, who had to go into overdrive to finish the 2nd term of the school year within 2 months due to COVID-19.

Vietnam 2020 graduation_colored powder tossing
Image credit: Tin giáo dục TP. Hồ Chí Minh

After graduation, the students will have to face another academic battle – the national high school graduation exam on 9th August for 12th graders and the high school entrance exam on 16th July for 9th graders, which they will need to do well in so that they can start their new school year on time.

Vietnam 2020 graduation_water pistol shooting
Image credit: Tin giáo dục TP. Hồ Chí Minh

Vietnam’s education system

Vietnam’s education system comprises 5 levels, including pre-school, primary school, secondary school, high school, and higher education, such as universities or vocational schools.

Most Vietnamese children usually start going to primary school at the age of 6, where they begin in grade 1 and graduate in grade 5.

Vietnam 2020 graduation_primary school students
A primary school in Hanoi
Image credit: Báo Tuổi Trẻ Thủ Đô

Secondary school education consists of grades 6 to 9, while high school education ends with grade 12.

Vietnam 2020 graduation_Vietnamese students
High school students in Long An Province
Image adapted from:
Báo Long An

Apart from regular exams required in school, all high school students in Vietnam are required to sit for the National High School Graduation Examination, which is conducted by the Ministry of Education and Training, in order to get their High School Graduation Certificate.

This means that even after the students have finished their school year and attended their 2020 graduation ceremony, they still need to sit for the national graduation exam before they are officially done with this chapter of their academic life.

Vietnamese students celebrate their 2020 graduation on time despite the pandemic

So far, Vietnam’s one of the very few countries in the world that is safe enough for students to come together to celebrate their 2020 graduation in the context of an ongoing pandemic. This is because of the government’s success in suppressing the outbreak and the remarkable efforts of both students and teachers.

Even though important exams are still ahead, Vietnamese students have done well in adapting to the online study during the lockdown, increased school work after returning to school, and graduating on time. We’re glad to see them blow off some steam in a meaningful and fun way, before going back to their intense preparations for the upcoming exams.

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Cover image adapted from: Tin giáo dục TP. Hồ Chí Minh

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