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Education Ministry's new grading system could lead to cheating

The Ministry of Education and Training’s (MOET) new mechanism on recognizing general education completion reportedly has motivated students to “buy” marks from teachers instead of studying hard.

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Education and Training’s (MOET) new mechanism on recognizing general education completion reportedly has motivated students to “buy” marks from teachers instead of studying hard.



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MOET has decided that it will recognize the students’ general education completion after considering their GPA (grade point average) in the 12th grade and their achievements at the national final exams.

Mai Van Trinh, a senior official of the ministry, said this will force students to spend appropriate time on all learning subjects instead of cramming for the subjects likely to be asked about.

Prior to that, MOET decided that 12th graders will have four exam subjects for the finals instead of six as previously. This aims to help ease the pressure on students, which analysts say is too hard for general school students nowadays.

However, this may cause students to only spend time to learn the subjects that may be exam subjects for the finals, and neglect the other subjects.

The purpose of general education is providing students with multidisciplinary knowledge in many different fields.

Therefore, MOET believes that it will need to consider the students’ GPA as well when assessing students’ abilities, because the GPA can show if the students have comprehensive knowledge or they are only good at some subjects.

However, the MOET’s “initiative” has not been applauded by educators and parents.

They believe that the mechanism would pave the way for the establishment of the “score markets”, i.e., markets, where scores for tests, exams and school works are put into trade.

Kim Ngoc Minh, MA, a renowned education expert, warned that the new mechanism would lend a hand to teachers and students to commit fraud.

“This may happen that students would give bribes to teachers in exchange for good marks for school works, thus allowing them to improve their GPA,” Ngoc said.

“If a weak student can have a GPA of 7.0, he will only need to get 3/10 scores from every exam subject to be able to finish general school,” Ngoc noted, adding that considering students’ abilities through GPAs is a scientific and reasonable method, but this will only help if there is transparency.

High school teachers are unsure about the merit of the new regulation.

“I have a reputation at my school as a tough marker. And I am now afraid that my students will be at a disadvantage if compared with the other students who study with the teachers who like giving high marks,” said a teacher at a high school in Hoan Kiem district in Hanoi..

Tien Phong

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