Shortage of textbooks, facilities affect teaching in new school year

September 22, 2022 - 09:27

The school year has begun. But a shortage of textbooks, teachers and facilities remains in many localities.


A textbook section in a book shop in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt

HÀ NỘI — The 2022-23 school year is the third year that the entire education and training sector has deployed the 2018 general education programme as part of the national education reform strategy. 

The school year has begun. But a shortage of textbooks, teachers and facilities remains in many localities, the national radio broadcaster Voice of Việt Nam reports. 

This problem affects not only the progress but also the effectiveness of the new education programme. 

In particular, a lack of 10th grade textbooks in the first year of implementation of the new curriculum at the high school level is causing many difficulties for both teachers and students.

Students at Hoàng Văn Thụ High School of Hà Nội's Hoàng Mai District still don't have enough textbooks to study. 

Preparing for the new school year, students have registered to buy textbooks at the school. But publishing houses and textbook suppliers have so far failed to supply enough textbooks for students.

"The school has informed students and their families of the lack of a textbook for one subject in the new programme, adding that the school will give it to students as soon as the textbook is available from the supplier. I also don't know when the students will have enough books to study," Nguyễn Kim Oanh, mother of a 10th grader, told Việt Nam News. "I have looked at my child's 10th grade textbook set. It is quite interesting. The content of the textbook has many innovations and is closer to reality."

The new curriculum and the shortage of textbooks have caused difficulties for students.

Nguyễn Phương Anh, a 10th grader, said, "students have a bit of a problem studying because we have not received the textbooks for the new subject, Economic and Legal Education. However, the teacher who teaches this subject already has a textbook and also tries to make it easy for us to understand. Learning in class will be easier if we have the book. We can read and see illustration photos and can prepare lessons at home before going to class."

In some schools, teachers are temporarily using e-books provided by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) to teach their students.

Students face difficulties learning while teachers face difficulties teaching. 

Many teachers say that there are no textbooks so students cannot prepare lessons at home, and they will not be able to review and do homework after studying, affecting the quality of teaching and learning and failing to promote students' self-study and self-research skills according to the goals of the new programme.

HCM City Department of Education and Training has reported that it is still lacking 7,053 sets of textbooks under the 2018 National Education Programme. 

The department has worked with publishers to ensure enough textbooks for students. 

It was expected that students would have enough textbooks before September 16.

Along with difficulties in teaching and learning due to the shortage of textbooks, a lack of teachers and degraded facilities and teaching equipment are also problems at many schools. 

Teachers and students face many difficulties in subjects that need experimentation and practice.

Nguyễn Văn Ngọc, Principal of Thuần Mỹ Secondary School, Hà Nội, said, "the school still does not have enough equipment for the new curriculum and has asked the Department of Education to supply more."

In Hòa Bình province, some schools have built classrooms but do not have equipment, while some schools have classrooms and practical equipment, but do not have teachers to teach those subjects. 

Ngần Thị Lâm, Principal of Hang Kia A Primary and Secondary School, said, "the classroom for informatics has been built. However, there are not enough computers for students."

Xa Văn Chệ, head of Mường Chiềng Primary School in Hòa Bình Province said the school had English teachers but didn't have informatics teachers.

At the secondary level, many teachers have to teach two or three subjects at the same time. They have participated in refresher courses to add new subject knowledge but the transition from single subject teaching to integrated ones requires teachers to make more effort and self-study to be able to teach according to the requirements of the new curriculum.

At this time, educational institutions across the country are forced to organise teaching and learning according to their actual conditions.

Assoc. Dr. Nguyễn Xuân Thành, director of the Secondary Education Department under MoET, said the ministry had known about the lack of textbooks in a few localities. The Ministry would ask the Department of Education and Training and publishers to work closely to ensure enough textbooks for students, especially in localities such as HCM City. — VNS