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Experts warn about inflated marks for students

The number of 'excellent' students increases steadily year after year, but many of them get low marks at exams.

State high schools throughout the country are enrolling students for the 2019-2020 academic year. While the number of students finishing secondary school at excellent level is relatively high, the number of students getting high scores at the high school entrance exams is quite low.

 

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Reports show that nearly 50 percent of examinees, or 39,000, got below 5 (the average score) for mathematics. The proportion was 58.4 percent in English.

A male student in Cu Chi district, HCMC, had a GPA of 8.6 when he was in the ninth grade, ranked 28th in his class. All of his classmates received compliments for their learning achievements, with 24 excellent and 19 good students.

Meanwhile, in 2018, seven high schools in Cu Chi district had to set lower required exam scores when enrolling students. No school set the required score at more than 23 for three exam subjects (literature and math scores were double).

Meanwhile, some schools set the required score at 15 only, which means that students just needed to get 3 for each subject to enter the 10th grade.

A male student in Cu Chi district, HCMC, had a GPA of 8.6 when he was in the ninth grade, ranked 28th in his class. All of his classmates received compliments for their learning achievements, with 24 excellent and 19 good students.

Local newspapers reported that some parents burst into tears after realizing that their children got only 7 for 3 exam subjects, though the children were praised for their learning achievements.

The poor exam results have raised questions about the quality of excellent students. Some analysts think the school work scores were ‘fabricated’ by teachers to ‘produce’ excellent students.

A secondary school teacher in district 5, HCMC, who asked to be anonymous, said teachers dare not give bad marks to students, or their teaching capability and qualification will be doubted.

Good teachers are automatically understood as teachers who have excellent students. Teachers tend to give good marks to students’ school work, but the marks don’t truly reflect the abilities of students. Their real abilities can be shown in their exam scores.

Under the Ministry of Education and Training’s Circular 22, primary school students now do not receive scores for their school works, but comments from teachers.

In HCMC, in the 2016-2017 academic year, 357,219 primary school students were awarded with good learning achievements.

The headmaster of a primary school in Go Vap district commented that assessment about students’ abilities still heavily depends on teachers’ feelings.

“The teachers who want to make everyone happy will give high marks to students for 2nd-semester test,s” she explained. 

Le Huyen

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