‘Achievement disease’ crushing Vietnam’s education: experts
Emulation movements aim to encourage students to improve
Van Anh, whose son goes to a secondary school in Cau Giay district in Hanoi, told reporters that the boy lost his student card which he must show to security guards to enter school every day. He reported the loss to his teachers and followed necessary procedures to get a new card.
While waiting to get a new card, the boy had to be present at school very early in the morning, before the ‘Red Star’ taskforce began its working shift. The taskforce identifies students who make mistakes (forget student cards, forget to wear uniform, or come to school late) and report to the school’s management board.
The classes which have students making mistakes will get lower emulation scores, which will affect their monthly, semester and yearly rankings. Thus, students must come to school early to avoid the taskforce’s examination at the entrance gate.
Le Quynh Hoa, a parent from Bac Tu Liem district, complained that if her daughter gets up late and cannot reach school on time, she would rather be absent from class than come late.
“She told me that if she is late to school, she will be named as one of naughty students at the school’s weekly general meeting, held on every Monday. She feels ashamed about this,” Hoa explained.
The surveys at some high schools in the 2017-2018 academic year found that 55-60 percent of students received ‘good’ and ‘excellent’ titles. The proportion was higher for 11th and 12th graders, about 70 percent.
A high school teacher in Hanoi confirmed that teachers now feel pressure from so many emulation movements, while students complain they do not feel happy at school because they have to fulfill too many commitments.
“There are so many criteria we have to strive for, such as the numbers of excellent students, the numbers of hours of extracurricular activities, and the numbers of prizes students can have at domestic and international competitions,” he explained.
These are targets set up early at the beginning of every academic year, and if the targets are attainable, teachers will be listed among the civil servants who ‘fail to implement tasks’ and will be excluded from the list of educators to receive awards at the end of academic year.
Therefore, teachers have to try every possible means to ‘gain achievements’, including the ‘fabrication’ of exam paper scores.
Analysts recently found an ‘abnormality’ in students’ achievements, which showed that the proportion of excellent students was surprisingly high.
But Thi Thuy, a National Assembly Deputy from Thanh Hoa province, said the surveys at some high schools in the 2017-2018 academic year found that 55-60 percent of students received ‘good’ and ‘excellent’ titles. The proportion was higher for 11th and 12th graders, about 70 percent.