Packed curriculum overwhelms first-graders
VietNamNet Bridge – Parents and primary school teachers all complain that the current curriculum is too extensive for first graders, who must adapt to a new school environment.
“My daughter has to deal with two phonemes and two syllables in the first month of the academic year,” said NVH, a parent in HCM City. “These include very complicated compound phonemes such as “th”, “ch” or “kh” (in Vietnamese).”
“My daughter always makes mistakes when using syllables,” he complained.
Even primary school teachers also think the curriculum for first graders is too difficult for first graders.
The headmaster of a primary school in District 9 in HCM City said it was unreasonable to force first graders, who have just left kindergarten where they spent most of their time playing, to receive too much knowledge at once.
“It is too much for 6-year-old children to learn two phonemes and two syllables a day,” she commented. “We begin teaching students how to spell even when many of them cannot remember all of the phonemes.”
A teacher at a primary school in District 3 said she feels sorry for my students, but she still has to follow the teaching schedule set by the Ministry of Education and Training.
However, the HCM City Education and Training Department allows teachers to adjust teaching schedules to fit to specific groups of students.
“But If you go more slowly at first, you will have to speed up later,” she explained. “You have to make sure that you can give all necessary lessons to students by the end of academic year. Teachers and students have to struggle hard to fulfill the teaching and learning tasks.”
Hoang Thu Ha, an office worker in Hanoi, also complained that her daughter is now afraid of going to school because she lags behind classmates.
“Parents have been advised by educators not to teach their children to read and write before the children go to school. And I believe this was reasonable advice. My daughter only spent her time while her friends at the same kindergarten were busy at private tutoring lessons. However, I regret my decision,” she said.
“The problem is that the teacher goes too fast with the lessons and my daughter does not have enough time to remember all letters and syllables within a short time,” she added.
Le Thi Ngoc Hanh, headmaster at the Truong Thanh Primary School in District 9, HCM City, commented that teachers have to work under difficult pressure.
“There are always two groups of students in the same class, the ones who learned how to read and write at home before they go to school, and the others who begin to get accustomed with the alphabet when they enter first grade,” Hanh said.
“The students of the former group feel tired of repeating the things they learned before. The ones of the latter group always complain that teachers go through the lessons too quickly,” she explained.