What is the best school in vietnam

Successful in German schools: Vietnamese children

Anyone visiting the Le Pham family will find a piece of Vietnam in Germany. The Le Phams live in an apartment building in a small town on the Rhine. The apartment smells of rice, fresh herbs and fish sauce. In the living room there is the obligatory black leather couch, a very large flat screen TV and a board mounted at head height on which people think of ancestors with incense sticks and photos. Expensive types of whiskey as well as wood and stone carvings are exhibited in two showcases.

The parents' curriculum vitae is also similar to that of many of the 100,000 or so Vietnamese or Germans of Vietnamese descent who live here today. The well-built father Than Yen Le attended high school in Vietnam and then went to the Czech Republic, where he completed an apprenticeship as a metal and mechanical engineer. After the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, he decided to go to the West. He has lived in Germany since 1991. Today he runs an Asian bistro in Cologne. His wife Thi Lam Pham studied fashion design in Vietnam before coming to Germany in 2004. She works in a nail salon.

Two brothers

They have two boys together: the reserved Minh Anh and the investigative younger brother Minh. When asked about her favorite subjects, Minh said without hesitation: "Music and art!" The elder Minh Anh replies softly: "Sports and math - subjects that are easy." They attend the fifth and sixth grades of the grammar school. The older one was class representative last school year, the younger one this year. The mother proudly says that her sons like to go to school and that she doesn't always have to come to parents' day because the teacher is very satisfied.

Since both parents are employed, the children stay at school until 4 p.m. Sometimes the mother does not come home until 6 p.m., the father usually only at 9 p.m. In this point too, the Le Phams are typical. In order to ensure the family's livelihood, many Vietnamese have to work a lot. And that means for the children: They are on their own from an early age. In the time after school they study for the next day, they say. "Or they are already preparing dinner," interjects the mother. The younger son also takes guitar lessons, while the older one attends the high school's tennis club on Monday. Despite these difficult conditions, both are good at school. The older one could have skipped a class, but the mother didn't want to. "It is better if he learns step by step."

The Le Pham family. Parents attach great importance to their children's education

Puzzling educational success

The Le Phams children are good at school. This also applies to many other Vietnamese in Germany, who are on average even better than many Germans. The Federal Statistical Office recorded for the 2013/2014 school year that 47.2 percent of German and 64.4 percent of Vietnamese young people attended grammar school.

The finding itself is not new and has also been known in the USA for many years. Scientists are interested in the underlying questions: Why is there a difference between different ethnic groups? And how can it be explained? Sociologist Bernhard Nauck from the University of Chemnitz and educational scientist Birger Schnoor from the University of Hamburg investigated these questions in 2015. In an empirical study, they examined 720 German, Vietnamese and Turkish families.

The first step for the two scientists was to review the classic explanation for educational success. This reads: The higher the income of a family, the better the social network and the higher the education of the parents, the more successful the children are at school. On the basis of this model, however, Vietnamese children should do as badly as Turkish children. "But they don't. That is the riddle that our essay is actually about," explains Nauck in an interview with Deutsche Welle.

Alternative explanations

After the so-called resource model could be ruled out as an explanation, the researchers looked for alternatives. "The first prime suspect, of course, was parenting style." Nauck was already able to show in other studies that Vietnamese upbringing is much stricter than that of German parents, for example. But even the thesis "authoritarian leadership style equals educational success" does not stand up to an empirical examination. "It's not like that: the more authoritarian the parents are, the greater the school success."

And the scientists investigated another possible explanation for the good performance of Vietnamese schoolchildren: It is about the Confucian legacy, according to which education is a value in itself and a good school leaving certificate for the children contributes to the reputation of the parents. But here, too, applies: "Both the Turkish and the Vietnamese migrant groups are characterized by the fact that they rely very heavily on school when it comes to social advancement and social recognition." This approach does not lead any further.

Change of perspective promising

Scientist Nauck admits that the question of the educational success of Vietnamese migrant children remains open even after the study. But he already has ideas on where to start. Perhaps up to now one has looked too much at the parents and too little at the children. A change of perspective could advance science. "It is possibly much more about the reactions of parents to the behavior of their children. How quickly do parents give up, for example, if the child's educational success does not materialize," says Nauck. "There are some indications that in this regard, East Asian parents differ significantly from other migrant workers, but also from Germans." He gives the example of tutoring. While German parents usually do not think about tutoring for a four, in some Vietnamese families a two would be a reason for additional tuition.

Vietnamese do well above average in German classrooms

Integration only with education

Education is important - also when it comes to integration. Nauck is convinced of that. "The more educated a person is, the better they can deal with the various situations in life." Second, a good, certified education is the ticket to working life. "In Germany even more than in any other society." This is also clear to many migrants. "Because migrants are career-oriented, otherwise they would not have migrated, education is the only card they can really bet on."

In this sense, the younger Minh wants to become a moderator later, not in a foramt like "Germany is looking for the superstar" but rather in the Tagesschau. He's already practicing sometimes by shooting videos on his mother's cell phone. The older one does not yet know what he would like to become, but he is certain: "If you learn more, you can earn more later."

This is how the parents of Minh Anh and Minh see it. "I just want my children to finish school and then continue studying at university," says the mother. "That is important for life here in Germany." For her husband and for herself this is no longer so important, because they might later go back to Vietnam. But she is sure that the future of her children lies in Germany.