Dien Bien kids to be taught in Thai, Mong
DIEN BIEN — The Dien Bien Province People's Committee has approved a project to teach Thai and Mong, the two most widely used ethnic languages in the province, to primary and secondary students in the period of 2011-15.
Ethnic students Na Co Sa Primary School in Quang Lam Commune, northern Dien Bien province's Muong Nhe District will soon study in their minority language. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuan Truong
The provincial Department of Education and Training director, Le Van Quy, said the project's design is larger and more comprehensive than all of the previous pilot projects.
The project would improve students' capacity to speak their mother tongue and promote ethnic cultural identity, he said.
Specifically, the 2011-15 project, with a 2020 vision, is targeted to open 40 Thai classes and 40 Mong classes in 80 primary and secondary schools in the province annually.
The classes would benefit a total of about 2,000 third graders. These students will continue practising their ethnic languages in higher grades; the same number of students between fourth and ninth grades will have access at this time as well.
These schools will use both a Black Thai and Mong Lenh (Mong Hoa) ethnic languages pilot curriculum edited and published during 2001-05. The Ministry of Education and Training complied the programs which are designed by grade level to improve students' ability and knowledge in their mother tongue. The project will kick off in September with a total capital of VND8.3 billion (US$405,000). All the funds are from the provincial budget.
Reports from the provincial Ethnic Minority Committee showed that the languages of Thai and Mong greatly influence the ethnic people living in the province due to the dense population and long-term cultural tradition of these groups.
Teaching ethnic language in school will better preserve the culture and encourage students to go to school, it said.
Bui Quang Trung, teacher at Muong Bang No1 Primary School, where a Mong ethnic language pilot programme began several years ago, said students were eager and more excited when studying their mother tongue, as most of the lessons were quite close to their life and customs. However, most schools dealt with a shortage of qualified teachers.
"There were three teachers giving ethnic language lessons in our school. All were Kinh people. Thus, most of them had difficulties explaining certain issues to students no matter how long they taught here," Trung said.
He added that a better curriculum would improve teaching efficacy.
Figures from the department showed that about 4,500 students from four districts of Tuan Giao, Tua Chua, Dien Bien and Dien Bien Dong studied Thai and Mong via pilot programmes in the two periods of 1996-2000 and 2001-05. Currently, there are more than 1,500 Thai ethnic teachers and nearly 200 Mong ethnic teachers in the province. — VNS