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Ministry makes strides to ease school-starter pressure

Update: March, 27/2013 - 08:49
Pupils of the Hoa Ban kindergarten in northern Dien Bien Province learn to read through comics. The Ministry of Education and Training will intensify inspections to dissuade parents from getting private lessons for their young children in preparation for first grade. — VNA/VNS Photo Quy Trung

HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Education and Training is planning to waive exams for first graders to reduce pressure on them and to stop kids being given private reading and writing lessons before they enter school.

Many parents are sending kids to private tutors before entering first grade so that they get good marks, said the ministry's Primary Education Department head Pham Ngoc Dinh at a press briefing on Monday.

But it was not helpful to teach children how to read and write before entering first grade, he said.

"The kids will lose their eagerness to learn if they already know basic writing and reading skills that they would have been taught in first grade," he said.

The ministry was against it, he said. In fact it could be harmful if the kids were not taught the right way.

Dinh said the ministry did not permit kindergartens to teach the primary education curriculum and was about to get rid of the first grade examination.

He said the ministry would intensify supervision and inspections to dissuade parents from getting private lessons for their children in preparation for first grade.

Primary school teacher Nguyen Thanh Giang said the curriculum was designed to help first-graders gradually get familiar with reading and writing and to learn how to communicate with teachers and friends without putting too much emphasis on knowledge.

"The children could follow the curriculum," she said.

It was obvious parents wanted to have ‘talented' kids and expected early tutoring to help them study better, she said. Some parents even expect their kids to be the best in the class, putting even more pressure on them.

"However, many parents don't know that this makes things difficult for their kids, who should enjoy going to school to learn basic skills, not to perform well with good marks."

Teaching and learning quality at primary schools was part of the problem. It worried the parents, Giang said.

"Some education content is unreasonable for the kids while the number of students per class exceeds the standard 35-40, reaching between 50-60." — VNS


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