This article discusses how the purpose of education for sustainable development (esd) is reflected within the perception of teachers and educational stakeholders in vietnam and whether a difference exists between the two respondent groups perspectives. Biestas three functions of education, qualification, socialization, and subjectification, are considered to be the theoretical outline for analyzing perceptions of the respondents. The empirical material for this analysis consists of interviews in vietnam with secondary teachers and educational stakeholders. The perspectives of the two groups regarding the purposes of esd somewhat overlap: central interests in esd discourse are to qualify students with knowledge, skills, and competences, and to teach them how to behave in sustainable ways. In other words, qualification and socialization, not subjectification, are major concerns of the respondents. This reflection, to some extent, reveals vietnams sustainable development priorities and the role education should play. 2019, 2019 Informa uk limited, trading as taylor & francis group.