Like the British in India, the French colonisers in
Vietnam believed that it was their duty to civilise the „ native people of Vietnam. Education was seen as an
important way to civilise the natives. The French authority introduced the Western education in Vietnam.
But they faced major- problems which were:
(i) French citizen living in Vietnam (called colons) began opposing the government’s policy as they
thought they might lose their jobs to the educated Vietnamese.
(ii) The elites in Vietnam were mostly influenced by Chinese culture. To consolidate their power, the French authority had to counter this Chinese influence;
To solve this problem, the French authority took some steps as follows:
(i) Only the Vietnamese elite could enroll in the schools and only a few among those admitted, ultimately passed the school leaving examination.
(ii) Some policy-makers suggested that Vietnamese be taught in lower classes and French in the higher classes. The few who learned French could understand the culture and civilisation of France and they could be rewarded with French citizenship.