Minister of Education concerned about low English teaching quality

The efforts to improve English teaching and learning quality have been disappointing. English was one of two subjects with the lowest scores at the 2019 high school final exam.

Sai Cong Hong, deputy director of the Ministry of Education and Training’s Quality Assurance Department, said the average score in English in the last three years from 2017 to 2019 was below 5.0. The most common scores were 3-3.4.

Minister of Education concerned about low English teaching quality



Tje scores are low in the northern mountainous provinces and Mekong Delta, but high in Hanoi, HCMC and Da Nang.

“The scores reflect improvement in English teaching in large cities, but nothing has changed in other provinces,” Hong said.

The 10-year teaching program is mostly implemented in provinces/cities with good socio-economic conditions. With heavier investments in English teaching, the 10-year programs result in better English skills than those in the 7-year program.

Dang Hiep Giang from the Secondary Education Department said two foreign language teaching programs exist concurrently, including a 7-year program (students begin learning English inthe sixth grade) and 10-year program (beginning in the third grade).

The 10-year teaching program is mostly implemented in provinces/cities with good socio-economic conditions. With heavier investments in English teaching, the 10-year programs result in better English skills than those in the 7-year program.

“The difference in training is an important factor which explains the difference in student quality,” Giang said. “It is necessary to apply the 10-year teaching program on a larger scale."

However, to deploy the program, Vietnam needs more qualified teachers. The country seriously lacks teachers, and the quality of teachers is unsatisfactory in some provinces in difficult circumstances.

“Qualified teachers in difficult areas tend to move to large cities where the conditions are better for them,” he said.

Nguyen Thi Mai Huu, director of the National Foreign Language Teaching Project, said English should be taught at all schools for 10 years.

 

The average score of students in the 10-year program on the 2019 high school finals was 2 marks higher than students in the 7-year program.

She said that MOET is now building an English curriculum for preschools to ensure that learning starts as early as possible.

HCMC had the highest average score in English over the last three years (5.92 in 2017, 5.06 in 2018 and 5.79 in 2019). It also had the highest number of students with a score of 8 or more.

Nguyen Van Hieu, deputy director of the HCMC Education and Training Department, said that many students in the city study at English language centers.

There are 700 foreign language centers in HCMC. Most of the students take extra English classes after their official school hours.

Tieng Ha

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