VietNamNet Bridge – Replying to the proposal to remove the handwriting and mental calculation practices from the primary education curriculum, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) said both the practices are necessary and need to be upheld.


Deputy Director of the Primary Education Department Tran Thi Tham has told the local press that MOET does not encourage primary school students to spend too much time on handwriting practicing, but this is an important part of the curriculum for primary education which must not be removed.

Disagreeing with some education experts who believe that people in the digital era don’t need to practice handwriting because computers can handle this job for humans, Tham affirmed that good handwriting is highly appreciated in all ages. Handwriting is very necessary for important documents or letters.

Vietnamese forefathers believed that someone’s handwriting can show his character, and that the people with good handwriting usually have good manner and morality.

Therefore, Tham thinks that when students practice handwriting, they can be more careful, and when they practice mental calculation, they can improve their intelligence.

Professor Ho Ngoc Dai, a well-known Vietnamese educator, the father of the new teaching method for primary schools, also believes that practicing handwriting is an important work that primary schools need to pay attention to.

“Students should begin practicing handwriting when they go to the first grade and continue practicing when they move to the second or third grades,” Dai said.

Children should be encouraged to write a good hand, because this would be useful for their lives in the future.

“I heard some people argue that modern computers nowadays can help people create letters. What will they say if they are told that they should not teach their children to walk, because motorbikes and cars in the modern times can carry their children to where they want to?” Dai said.

Former Deputy Minister of Education and Training Tran Xuan Nhi has voiced his opposition against the proposals by some educators to remove the handwriting practicing hours from the primary education curriculum.

“You would have more sympathy for the people who have good handwriting, because you guess they are reliable and careful. Meanwhile, those with bad writing show their carelessness,” Nhi commented.

Primary school students need to practice to obtain some basic skills, which are very useful for their future lives. Writing is one of the important skills.

Nhi also noted that it will not take students too much time to practice handwriting. “Students can write in order and with reasonable structure of letters just after 10 days,” he noted.

However, both the MOET and the educators have agreed that primary schools and teachers should not attach too much importance to the practicing of handwriting.

Tham said parents should not force their children to practice handwriting too hard, which would put a hard pressure on them. She stressed that it is unnecessary for parents to bring their children to the extra handwriting practicing classes.

“Teachers and parents just need to ask students to fulfill the exercises given to them at school. This is enough for them to practice handwriting,” Tham said.

Van Chung