|A teacher tells students at Chiềng Lề Primary School how to prepare for the new school year, in the northern mountainous province of Sơn La, on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Hữu Quyết|
HÀ NỘI — Teachers across the country are actively preparing for the new school year in the midst of the COVID pandemic.
Teachers in charge of second-grade and sixth-grade classes will start teaching students following a new general education programme, issued by the Ministry of Education and Training.
The new programme focuses on student activities to develop their competence, and aims to reduce the pressure on students. The new curriculum has fewer subjects and cuts the number of learning hours at school. Schools will have more time for outdoor and entertainment activities for students.
Ninh Thị Tình, a teacher in Thanh Sơn District, the northern province of Phú Thọ, said she and her colleagues had received an online training course on how to teach students following the new programme via the learning management system of the ministry.
The training course was taught by core lecturers from the Hà Nội National University of Education, she added.
It took Tình about three to four hours a day to participate in the online training course.
Tình said the online training course required teachers to be more active in learning new knowledge to teach students under the new programme.
The teachers had to take a test at the end of each module of the course to ensure the teachers qualified all modules.
Hoàng Thị Điệu, a teacher at Chè Lỳ Primary School in Bảo Lâm District, the northern mountainous province of Cao Bằng, said teachers of the school usually had to go to the district’s centre, dozens of kilometres from the school, to participate in a training course with leading teachers.
This year, teachers participated in the online training course due to the impact of the COVID pandemic, she said.
Điệu said teachers doing the online training course saved time travelling and had the chance to speak with more leading teachers and lecturers of Hà Nội National University of Education than ever before.
“I have learned how to make the students the centre during the lesson following the new general education programme,” she said. “In the past, the teacher was the centre during the lesson.”
“Now, the teacher only guides and orients the students to encourage them to be more excited with lessons.”
Vi Thị Nhung, a teacher of Châu Thôn Secondary School in Quế Phong District, the central province of Nghệ An, said the new programme mainly focused on developing learners' qualities and capacities.
The programme requires every student to discuss and forces teachers to find the most optimal teaching method for each lesson, she said.
Online opening ceremony
This year, it is difficult for schools across the country to simultaneously hold the opening ceremony of the new school year on September 5 as normal. Therefore, many localities are preparing for both offline and online opening ceremonies for the new school year.
A representative of Hà Nội’s Education and Training Department said on August 13 that the city was applying social distancing, thus, there were still no specific plans for the opening ceremony of the new school year.
Depending on the developments of the pandemic, the City People's Committee will approve the most appropriate plan, he said.
Local schools had prepared two options for the opening ceremony – online and offline, he said.
Ngô Thị Thanh, principal of Nam Từ Liêm Primary School, said the school had already prepared two options.
If the pandemic is under control before the new school year starts, an offline opening ceremony will be organised. If not, an online opening ceremony will be held, she said.
First-grade students will participate in a meeting to introduce themselves and get acquainted with their teacher, she added.
In Đà Nẵng City, the Education and Training Department said the city was also under social distancing, therefore, local schools decided to organise an online opening ceremony on September 5.
Parents of first-grade students will be invited to participate in an online meeting with teachers. The teachers will discuss with parents on how to instruct their children to learn online at home, the department said.
In HCM City, schools will organise an online opening ceremony in the middle of September, two weeks later than the ministry’s schedule because of the complex development of the pandemic.
Among 63 localities throughout the country, Sơn La Province is the only locality allowing students to return to school on time – on Monday (August 16) – and will prepare an offline opening ceremony on September 5.
Localities that will allow first-grade students to go to school on August 23 include Bắc Giang, Lào Cai, Bắc Kạn, Thanh Hoá, Bắc Ninh, Đắk Lắk, Gia Lai and Hoà Bình.
Before the new school year begins, Minister of Education and Training Nguyễn Kim Sơn said that the nation’s education sector was facing two big challenges.
The first was requirements for development and innovation. The second was how to teach and learn during the pandemic.
Thus, every school needs to transform to adapt and minimise damage caused by the pandemic, he added. — VNS