VietNamNet Bridge - Many of the dozens of competitions at schools are not needed, say students. 


A high school teacher in Hanoi said among competitions for students from primary to high school, from local to international, there are about 70 math competitions alone.

The competitions can be classified into two groups. The first is controlled by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET). The second comprises competitions held by organizations with donors from different sources.

Nguyen Thi Xuan Lan, headmaster of Marie Curie Hanoi Primary School, said the school refused many competitions, but still participates in seven to eight a year. 

“We send students to significant competitions such as English Olympiad, sports tournament, information technology competition and online math competitions,” she said. “We will refuse competitions which take student and teacher time.”

The educator went on to say that most of the students’ time must be spent at school, and if students spend too much time on competitions, this will badly affect their learning results.

Canh Bach Yen, Headmaster of the Vietnam-Algeria Secondary School in Thanh Xuan district in Hanoi, said her students participated in 10 competitions organized by the district, the city and MOET.

Many of the dozens of competitions at schools are not needed, say students. 
“Many private companies come to invite us to participate in competitions related to English certificates to be organized by them. However, we refused all of them,” she said.

Nguyen Thi Huyen Nga, the teacher of a primary school in Hanoi, commented that there were many insignificant competitions. 

“I know that students don’t want to participate in the competitions. In many cases, the essays submitted by students were, in fact, written by their parents, who searched for materials on internet,” she said.

“However, students still have to participate in the competitions because their refusal will be considered bad behavior in teachers’ eyes,” she commented.

Dang Minh Tuan, a math teacher from a prestigious high school in Hanoi, warned that many parents have misunderstanding about competitions. There are many ‘friendship’ competitions which just serve as opportunities for students to meet and exchange views. 

“It is easy to win prizes at the competitions. However, these prizes make parents think their children are very good at learning,” he said.

According to Tuan, of the tens of math competitions held every year, only the ones organized by MOET have high quality. 

The other competitions can give students opportunities to improve English skills and develop logical thinking.

Nguyen Vo Ky Anh, Director of the Institute of Educational Research & Human Potential Development, sad that 10 competitions were more than enough for students every year.

Nam Lich