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Education Ministry concerned as history scores too low

Below average scores were recorded on 399, 066 out of 569,905 exam papers, or 70.01 percent in history.

Experts affirm that this year’s exam questions were easier than those of last year.



Le Thu Huyen from Son Tay High School in Hanoi said all history teachers said that the exam questions have high quality, are explicit and uncontroversial. However, the average history exam score was still the lowest.

Local newspapers said that it I'm as not students, but teachers who felt the most pain from the low exam scores, because the exam results did not truly reflect teachers’ great efforts when preparing students for the history exam.

At general school, math, literature and English are considered the most important subjects, while history is just an auxiliary subject which they don’t care about.

Hoang Thi Lan Huong from Chu Van An High School in Hanoi said students do not spend enough time learning history.

She said many parents came to see her just two to three months before the high school national exam and asked her to prepare their children for history test. Students just want to get scores high enough to finish high school.

Meanwhile, most of their time is spent studying math, literature and foreign language, and subjects needed to apply for universities.

Pham Thi Thanh Huyen, a history teacher at the Vietnam-Germany High School, also said that even the students who love history don’t spend time to prepare for history exam because the score has little significance on their decisions to choose majors at university.

At general school, math, literature and English are considered the most important subjects, while history is just an auxiliary subject which they don’t care about.

Pham Hong Tung, chief editor of the history curriculum, commented that if history is a compulsory exam subject for students who want to apply for more universities, students would take it more seriously.

Meanwhile, Vu Minh Giang, deputy chair of the Vietnam History Science Association, attributed the low history exam score to the unreasonable teaching method.

“We don’t treat it (history) as a science,” he commented. “Meanwhile, the teaching method is problematic: teachers just give facts and figures, while students have to learn the facts and figures by heart."

However, he admitted that reform in teaching history cannot be carried out overnight, but will take time to change. The new general education program, therefore, has an important task – renovating the curriculum so students like to study history.

He also thinks the problem lies in the way of designing exam questions. “Exam question designers have changed the way the questions are raised and caught up with renovation. However, students still have to learn history the old way. Therefore, students still cannot adapt to the new circumstances,” he explained. 

Linh Ha


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