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Teachers to give comments, not marks, to first graders

The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has allowed primary schools not to give marks to students for their school works. The teachers would only make comments and give advice to help students improve their study capability.

VietNamnet Bridge – The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has allowed primary schools not to give marks to students for their school works. The teachers would only make comments and give advice to help students improve their study capability.



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Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen, a teacher of the Thanh Cong B Primary School in Hanoi, said she advocates the new method to assess students’ capability.

“When you comment on students’ works, you will encourage them to try more to obtain better results. The compliments would be encouraging, while marks would put students under a hard pressure,” Huyen said.

Le Thi Thanh Mai, a parent in Hanoi, said she feels at ease when hearing that teachers would not give marks to first graders.

“I heard that students nowadays always run a race in the class for high marks. I think this not good for the small kids. The overly hard pressure would make them get afraid of going to school,” she said,

The parent feels happy that her girl, who goes to the first grade after the summer, would be able to enjoy the new teaching method.

Meanwhile, Le Hoang Quan, a parent in Cau Giay district, said he has sighed with relief after hearing the news. “I will not have to bring my child to private tutoring class,” he said, explaining that in order to get good marks from teachers, parents all have to send their children to extra classes after school hours.

“The new method would help ease the pressure on students, teachers and parents as well,” Quan said.

Pham Xuan Tien, Head of the Primary Education Division of the Hanoi Education and Training Department, also thinks it is a right decision not to give marks to first graders.

The students need to enjoy a comfortable schooling environment on their first school days. First graders should not be too demanding, while they need to be given time to get familiar with schooling environment, teachers, friends and exercises.  They would be put under a hard pressure if they receive bad marks right on the first days at school.

Meanwhile, a lot of educators have expressed their worry about the implementation of the new assessment method. A teacher said comments only would not show the real ability of students. She believes that it’s necessary to give marks for students’ school works to show how they are capable.

She has warned that it will take teachers a lot of time to give comments about all the students. In Vietnam, there are 60-70 students in every class in big cities.

Some parents also said they would rather give marks to students. Lam Van, a VietNamNet’s reader has called on the Ministry of Education and Training to reconsider its decision.

“Giving marks does not aim to threaten students and put them under pressure. Giving marks aims to show the real ability of students. Only marks can show how the students’ capability is high,” commented Vo Van Toan, a reader emailed from vovantoan@...

Also according to Toan, the students who receive good marks, would feel better, which would encourage them to try more to obtain better results. They would feel bad if their good works cannot be highly appreciated with the good marks from teachers.

Van Chung

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