The key to education in VietNam is ATTITUDE
I recently met a Vietnamese parent, who is employed by a foreign entity and who obviously makes way higher than the average wage, who told me he had moved his Vietnamese children from the State system to one of the for-big-profit foreign schools because he was of the opinion VN schools 'were no fun' and the foreign schools had fun things like sports. His two children are costing him around USD$25,000 annually.
My daughter, whose right to State schools is through her citizenship, gets up at some unGodly hour, shortly after 06.00H, meets her friends for breakfast where they compare homework and then start their school day at 07.30H. They have two 15-minute breaks and an hour for lunch and leave school at 17.00H. She has extension classes three or four nights a week AS WELL AS Saturday school. Many also study on Sundays.
There is homework every day.
Parents have to pay for schooling, around USD$60 per month, per child, which is quite a burden where a good family income is around USD$300.month.
Children here aren't just 'interested', they have a hunger for knowledge. Every weekday evening our offices remain open until 22.00H so the local children can do their homework, or study. KhanAcedemy.Org is a great resource, especially now it has sub-titles. We were watching a video of calculus recently and some children could even work out the answers in their heads! It made me feel old.
I met a 13-girl recently who has perfect fluency in Vietnamese, English and Chinese/Mandarin. When I say perfect English I mean she understands the subtleties of the languages, as usually only someone from a country does.
I recently acquired 10 Raspberry Pi computers, set them up on tables in a spare room, and left many copies of various RPi books around and left them unannounced. Within a couple of days some kids had figured out how to make them do basic things and now, after 17 days, they are practicing basic programming. Completely hands off from myself and my partners.
This is the competition the West is facing not only from the 50-million odd school children in VietNam but a few hundred million more in China and India.