Excellent candidates still fail the civil-service exams in Vietnam
  • | VietNamNet, | May 18, 2015 02:38 PM
The number of good candidates who have failed civil service exams has been increasing year after year.

Under current regulations, candidates must pass the civil service exams organized by the Hanoi Department of Interior Affairs to be employed by local state agencies.

However, some candidates can be recruited in an exceptional way. They do not have to attend the general civil service exams like others, but they only have to sit written tests and direct interviews to show their abilities.

The candidates must be excellent graduates from domestic universities and institutes, or from overseas schools.

The special recruitment policy has been applied in Hanoi since 2013.

In that year, nine exceptional candidates were reported as failing the civil service exam. The number was 10 in 2014 and it soared to 30 in 2015.

Numerous queries about the quality and transparency of the civil service exam have been raised in education forums. Why did excellent candidates, whose ‘excellence’ was recognized by prestigious domestic and overseas schools, fail the exam?

A member wrote on an education forum that the civil service exam was “fishy”. 

“No one can explain why excellent school graduates failed the exam,” he wrote. “This happened not only with some individuals, but with nearly 100 people. What happened?”

And he made a humorous comment that the education establishments which granted degrees to the candidates should dissolve because of their weak capability of assessing students. 

“I think the tests are organized just to pluck qualified candidates,” he wrote.

Nguyen Dinh Hoa, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Interior Affairs, in interviews to local newspapers, said that the department has been strictly following the city’s policy on laying down red carpet to welcome qualified personnel.

However, Hoa’s statement cannot help stamp out doubts about the transparency of the civil service exam.

Some analysts have suggested that it is necessary to reconsider questions raised at the exams to find out if the questions were reasonable to find the best candidates.

When asked about the exam questions, a candidate who sat the 2015 test said he had to take a written test with four questions and the marking scheme was not clear.

Later, he attended an interview with three officials. “There was no supervisor, no recording. The marking scheme was also unclear,” he said.

“I remember the three questions they raised very well. First, what percentage of the written work could you fulfill? Second, what positions did you apply for? Third, tell us something about yourself,” he said.

A labor expert commented relevant agencies should ask themselves why many good candidates with high degrees could not pass the exams.

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