Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training has requested that a local international school halt its collaboration with a U.S. school found to have engaged in fraudulent activities.
Hanoi-based Newton Grammar School (NGS) built a link with George Washington International School (GWIS), which claims to be based in Florida, in 2012.
However, the Vietnamese education ministry has discovered that GWIS has no teaching activities at its addresses in the U.S., nor has it received any national or regional accreditation, a process by which schools prove that their degrees satisfy minimum standards.
It is therefore required that NGS sever all connections with GWIS, the education ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The ministry also tasked the Hanoi Department of Education and Training with ascertaining who is to be held accountable for the cooperation between NGS and GWIS and handle them as per the law.
NGS is supposed to take necessary actions to safeguard the interests of affected students, according to the statement.
The Vietnamese education ministry grew suspicious of the GWIS after learning of the bilingual educational program jointly designed by the U.S. school and its Hanoi partner.
According to the program, published on NGS’s website, NGS students can learn mathematics, science and language with coursebooks provided by GWIS and under the guidance of teachers from the U.S. school. Those who obtain 24 credits of the curriculum will receive an American high-school diploma.
As promising as it sounds, official information about the GWIS program is scanty.
The Hanoi education department has previously affirmed that the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam had verified the legitimacy of high-school diplomas awarded to students completing the GWIS program at NGS.
However, the U.S. Embassy has asserted that this claim is false, adding that information regarding GWIS has not been found in any official sources, according to news website VietNamNet.
It has also been verified that the two addresses in Florida the GWIS claims to be its own are those of the Mail $ More, a packaging and shipping store, and the California Education and Performing Arts Center, according to Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper.
GWIS has also worked with several high schools in Ho Chi Minh City and identified itself as a foreign language center to teach high-school curricula in 14 provinces across Vietnam, according to VietNamNet.