Sat. May 18th, 2024

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese parents now hurriedly prepare their children for
first grade by forcing them to practice reading and writing in advance.


Vietnam, pre-school education, star school, academic year

Children tutored for primary school competition

Most of the Vietnamese parents believe that their children need to practice
reading and writing before they go to primary school. If they don’t, they would
not catch up with the other classmates.

Many of them have told their children to leave kindergartens to focus on
practicing writing and reading to prepare for the first grades. Only a few of
parents decide not to teach their children in advance. And they are called the
“brave parents.”

Thi, an office worker in Ha Dong district, whose son would go to primary school
in September, said she was in two minds about whether to practice the boy in
advance. She understands that it’d be better not to force the child to learn
hard before his age. However, she fears that the boy would lag behind in the
class, which would make him get afraid of going to school.

Finally, she decided to bring the boy to a pre-first grade preparation class,
where he can practice reading and writing. “I feel insecure about my child. I
decided to follow the crowd,” she said.

Thi really does not want to send the boy to the class. Everything there does not
satisfy her. The tuition is overly high, VND75,000 for a lesson. The classroom
is cramped and hot.

“It’s scorching hot there, like a preparation class for the university entrance
exams,” Thi said.

However, the mother said, his son is still “luckier” than his other 5 friends in
the same residential quarter, who have to learn much harder. The boy next-door
has to go to a private tutoring class to practice reading and writing every
morning, and then learn with his grandmother every evening.

Meanwhile, her mother calls her every day and urges her to bring the boy to
private tutoring class, or the boy would be inferior to his friends.

Psychologists’ advices ignored

Educators and psychologists have many times warned parents against teaching
children before going to primary school. They said that the students who know
how to read and write before going to school would suffer from the
“subjectivism” and would neglect the teachers’ lessons.

A teacher of a primary school in Binh Thanh district in HCM City said most of
the students, who practice writing soon, write letters in a wrong way. She also
said that it’s very difficult to correct the mistakes, because children tend to
remember well the things they learn first.

Especially, she said, many students lag behind others in class after a period of
learning, because they think they know everything already and they don’t need to
concentrate during the lessons.

The Ministry of Education and Training and local education departments have
launched a propaganda campaign to persuade parents not to teach their children
before the school age. Director of the Primary Education Department–Pham Ngoc
Dinh, said parents would feel guilty about their children if they force the
children to begin learning before the age.

Dinh went on to say that MOET would release a new legal document to prohibit
teachers to give marks to first graders. Teachers can only give comments to help
students correct their mistakes and improve themselves, instead of giving marks,
which may make students get afraid of learning.

Nguyen Thao

By vivian