Students have no time for play as life-skill lessons crowd the curriculum
VietNamNet Bridge – Educators have begun teaching teach life skills to students, but parents complain that the teachers do not know how to give instruction in such skills.
The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) decided that life skills would be an extracurricular subject for primary school students after it was criticized for its unreasonable curriculum.
Vietnamese parents had called on educators to ease the academic load and teach them practical skills, such as life skills instead.
However, “teachers themselves were not taught life skills when they were at school”, educators say.
Tran Trung Huy from Lai Vu Primary School in Kim Thanh District in Hai Duong Province, said that since students now have to “practice life skills”, they have no free time to play.
Students have 15 life skill lessons every academic year, and each lesson is taught over two teaching periods (45 minutes per period).
Students also have to learn many other “important skills to live”. Educators decided that they needed to learn about traffic safety, so they now have eight lessons with materials provided by the National Traffic Safety Council.
Students also have to spend time on extra math and language lessons. As such, Huy concluded, primary school students have no free time to do what they want.
The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) said life skill teaching is “encouraged” at primary school, and is not a compulsory subject. However, life skills have become a curricular subject, and students have to spend 30 periods a year practicing life skills.
A parent in Hanoi complained that her daughter feels overloaded with life skill lessons. She has to read a “Life Skill” book published by the Vietnam Education Publishing House and fulfill exercises for “life skill” lessons.
When learning about how to integrate into a new environment, first graders are required to sing three songs together with classmates. However, the problem is that first graders, who still cannot read and write, find it difficult to learn the songs’ lyrics by heart.
“I believe that teaching life skills to students is a good idea, but I don’t think this is a good way to teach life skills,” the parent, who attended a prestigious school in the US, noted.
“I read the book designed for second graders and found that 7-year-old children have to name five Miss Worlds,” she said. “Educators seem to try to turn all Vietnamese students into talents.”