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Educators criticized for excessive number of “excellent” students

The Vung Tau City education sub-department has asked Nguyen Thai Binh Secondary School to explain why 42 out of 43 students of a class in the school had ‘excellent student’ titles.

A parent whose nephew is a sixth grader in the class doubted the achievements the students gained: all but one student got the ‘excellent student’ title for the 2018-2019 academic year.

 

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Nguyen Thai Binh School in Vung Tau

 

Pham Quang Ngoc, who demanded the explanation from the school, said it is necessary to clarify if the students are excellent as reported.

“We told the school to assess the quality of students of the class and submit a report. The report will give information for us to conclude if the high proportion of excellent students is true,” he said.

The existence of too many excellent students is actually no longer a surprise.

“I am sure that similar stories about classes with 99 percent of excellent students can be seen everywhere,” said Ngo To Hoa, 34, on a parents’ forum.

The Vung Tau City education sub-department has asked Nguyen Thai Binh Secondary School to explain why 42 out of 43 students of a class in the school had ‘excellent student’ titles.


Hoa’s daughter herself, a seventh grader, is also an excellent student, and so are most of her friends.

“When I was a secondary school student, I would be rewarded with a tour to the sea from parents if I became an excellent student. But now, I don’t do this for my daughter, because there are so many excellent students now,” she wrote.

Pham Tat Dong, deputy chair of the Vietnam Society of Study Encouragement, commented that the high proportion of excellent students in one class is ‘abnormal’.

“There is no breakthrough in Vietnam’s education so far and the education quality is lamentable. In such conditions, the existence of 42 excellent students in a 43-member class is incredible,” Dong said.

Analysts don’t think the explanation and re-assessment of students’ quality will lead to changes in number of excellent students. Even if changes are made, they will be insignificant, because the ‘achievement disease’ exists at all schools throughout the country, not only in Vung Tau.

“Nowadays, when students and teachers have to be ‘excellent’ to obtain good study opportunities and get job promotions, they will try every possible way, including ‘score fabrication’, to reach that goal,” a parent commented.

Late Prof Van Nhu Cuong, a renowned educator, found it surprising that thousands of primary school graduates got a perfect 10/10 score from the year-end Vietnamese language and math exams.

He said there were so many "excellent" students, that his high school found it difficult to choose the best students.

 Ha An

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