From the late 1950s until 1975, the war between North and South Vietnam had both domestic and international consequences. Unlike the Cold War divide between the United States and the Soviet Union, the war between the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV, the Communist North) and the Republic of Vietnam (RVN, the non-Communist South) was an armed conflict between two polities that both identified themselves as Vietnamese. In this twenty-year-long struggle, the fates of the DRV and the RVN were tied to their success in producing new generations who would subscribe to their respective agendas. This was done through many venues, of which education was one of the most important. Relying on archival materials and published documents, this article compares the educational systems at the primary and secondary school levels in the DRV and RVN after the division of the country, with a special focus on the period 1965–1975.

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