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With current teaching method, students given “dead knowledge”

Vietnamese students have more learning subjects and receive bigger volumes of knowledge everyday than the students from any other countries. However, they don’t have basic knowledge about history, nature and the things around them.

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese students have more learning subjects and receive bigger volumes of knowledge everyday than the students from any other countries. However, they don’t have basic knowledge about history, nature and the things around them.

Giao duc Vietnam newspaper has conducted an aptitude test on the fourth and fifth graders of a primary school in Hanoi and found out that the students have knowledge with many gaps in it.

A student, when asked if he read The story of Tam and Cam, a very famous fairly tale of Vietnam, a kind of Cinderella story in western countries, said he did not read it before.

The boy affirmed that he read Saint Giong, the story about a mythical folk hero of Vietnam's history and one of The Four Immortals. Little holy Giong grows in size to be a giant hero on a flying magic horse leading Vietnam to victory against invaders. However, he gave the wrong answer that Giong could speak when he was several months old.

The other two students conducted an interesting debate about the differences between buffalo and cow. One of the two said that only buffalos have horns, while cows don’t have, while the other affirmed that male cow has horns.

The students also argued about the color of cows and buffalos and about their works. Is the cow brown or orange? Do buffalos have to plough on the rice field, while cows graze ashore.

Commenting about the test, a teacher said this shows the big problems of Vietnamese education. Educators try to stuff their students’ heads with academic knowledge which students would easily forget, while they don’t show basic knowledge and simple things about the life around.

Educators have agreed that Vietnamese students have more learning subjects and receive bigger volumes of knowledge everyday than the students from any other countries. This has resulted in the fact that students have abundant academic knowledge and lack practical knowledge that they can apply in their lives.

A lot of students do not have minimum knowledge about the history of Vietnam, the country where they live. Especially, they even know nothing about their school and about the hero, whose name the school is bearing.

Chair of the Hanoi Educational Psychology Association, Nguyen Tung Lam, who is also the Headmaster of the Dinh Tien Hoang people founded school, has noted that the students with big gaps in knowledge are the products of the badly designed education system.

“Vietnamese teachers have been providing “dead knowledge” to their students. They simply provide academic knowledge, while they cannot point out how the knowledge relates to the life,” Tam commented.

“With the current teaching method, students simply learn by heart the words they listen from teachers or read from books, while they don’t care about the reality, the society and about what is happening around them,” he added.

Lam has also pointed out that it is the current mechanical teaching method which has led to the low foreign language skills of Vietnamese students. This explains why Vietnamese students still cannot communicate in foreign languages after they spend 5-7 years learning the languages at general schools.

The problem is that at school, students only learn grammatical formulas and learn new words by hearts, because of which, their creativeness cannot be “awaken”, according to Lam.



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