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VN book appraisal council should be restructured

The fate of textbooks for general education programs depends on the sense of justice and qualification of the members of the book appraisal council.

Thai Van Tai, acting director of the Primary Education Department under the Ministry of Education and Training, said the book appraisal council comprises prestigious scientists, teachers from pedagogical schools.



Ho Ngoc Dai, the father of the 'education technology' program



At least 1/3 of the council’s members are teachers who work at primary schools across the country.

There are many sub-councils in charge of appraising learning subjects, and each sub-council has 7-15 members.

According to Mai Ngoc Chu, a member of the sub-council for Vietnamese language, the sub-council includes professors in linguistics, education management experts and primary school teachers.

As for mathematics, according to Prof Tran Kieu, the chair of sub-council, there are 13 members who appraise books based on 13 criteria.

According to Mai Ngoc Chu, a member of the sub-council for Vietnamese language, the sub-council includes professors in linguistics, education management experts and primary school teachers.

“Of 13 members, some are mathematicians, five are teachers from different localities, and others are teachers at pedagogical schools. They all deserve their work,” he said.

The members of the sub-council have experience in appraising books, but appraising textbooks for first graders of the new general education program is the hardest work for them.

Compilers and appraisers need to pay attention to the teaching method to make lessons interesting to first grade students because these students cannot read or write.

According to Tai, the appraisal council has rejected some textbooks since its establishment. These include a textbook compiled by Prof. Ho Ngoc Dai and his team.

Ho Ngoc Dai is a well known educator in Vietnam, the father of the ‘education technology’ program, and his textbooks are called ‘education technology textbooks’. The decision by the council to reject Dai’s textbooks raised controversy.

Dai’s teaching method has been applied on a trial basis in Vietnam for many years and there are varied comments about the method. At first, the textbook was used on a voluntary basis in seven provinces in the 2008-2009 academic year. In 2016, the figure rose to 48.

All the 15 members of the Vietnamese language sub-council rejected the books.

According to Ngo Thi Tuyen, an education researcher, there must be a council that is professional and impartial.

Regarding professionalism, the chair of the sub-council has to have expertise in the field and must have pedagogical skills.

But the chair of the sub-council in the Vietnamese language subject is not an expert in both the profession and pedagogy, though he is an expert in literary criticism. She stressed that special requirements are needed to work with textbooks for first graders. 

Mai Lan


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