The two major problems before the French in the field of colonial education in Vietnam were as-
1. The French needed an educated local labour force but they feared that education might create problems. Once educated, the Vietnamese may begin to question colonial domination.
2. French citizens living in Vietnam began fearing that they might lose their jobs – as teachers, shopkeepers, policemen – to the educated Vietnamese. So they opposed policies that would give the Vietnamese full access to French education.
They tried to solve these problems by-
1. Textbooks glorified the French culture and language. The French thought that by learning the language the Vietnamese would be introduced to the culture and civilization of France. This would help create an ‘Asiatic France solidly tied to European France’. The educated people in Vietnam would respect French sentiments and ideals, see the superiority of French culture, and work for the French
2. Among those admitted in schools, only a few ultimately passed the school-leaving examination. This was largely because of a deliberate policy of failing students, particularly in the final year, so that they could not qualify for the better-paid jobs.
Explanation- The school textbooks glorified the French and justified colonial rule. The Vietnamese were represented as primitive and backward, capable of manual labour but not of intellectual reflection; they could work in the fields but not rule themselves; they were ‘skilled copyists’ but not creative.
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