Lack of classrooms a pressing issue in Đà Nẵng primary schools

September 30, 2022 - 08:19
The schedule change is putting pressure on both teachers and students.
A class of first-grade students at Duy Tân Primary School in Liên Chiểu District, Đà Nẵng. — Photo

ĐÀ NẴNG — Facing a lack of classrooms, primary schools in Đà Nẵng now have to alternate schedules for pupils, instead of following the standard timetable of a full day at school for five days a week. 

The change is putting pressure on both teachers and students. 

To reserve room for students of Grade 1 to 3 studying for a full day following the new curriculum, many Grade 4 and 5 students in Đà Nẵng now only have classes for half a day. 

Thái Thị Bội Primary School in Cẩm Lệ District had to convert four spaces into classrooms to accommodate the timetables for Grade 4 and 5. 

Those are the hall, the reading room, part of the lobby, and part of the rooms for teachers and the school chapter of the Hồ Chí Minh Young Pioneer Organisation. 

Phạm Huyền Bội Giao, the principal, told Giáo dục & Thời đại (Education & Times) newspaper that because this is the only primary school in the ward, the high number of students is putting pressure on its limited facilities. 

This year is the first time that students of Grade 1, 2 and 3 at the school have divided their periods into nine sessions per week. 

Understanding this may cause fatigue and attention deficit in the pupils, the more intensive subjects such as mathematics, Vietnamese, English and physical education are prioritised to be earlier in the timetable. 

Meanwhile, Duy Tân Primary School in Liên Chiểu District had to adjust the timetable for the upper grades just a few days into the new school year.

There are 37 classes in Grade 4 and 5, but the school only has 30 classrooms. This year, the school welcomed eight classes of first-graders. 

Nguyễn Hỷ, the school principal, said: “Only with that many classes can the school arrange enough classrooms for Grade 1, 2 and 3 in the new general education curriculum, with nine lessons per week."

In the same district, Nguyễn Văn Trỗi Primary School is also facing challenges in managing and allocating class schedules and rooms, especially for Grade 4 and 5. 

Bùi Thị Thanh Tuyền, the principal, said: “With 51 classes and 48 classrooms, the school arranges seven sessions per week for Grade 4 and 5, because there is still enough space for alternating schedules.”

“Grade 4 will study the whole day on Tuesday and Thursday, while the rest of the week they will only have classes for half a day.

“However, we have to have different schedules for Grade 5, those classes that usually study in the morning now have lessons on Monday and Wednesday afternoon. 

“It is not possible to have the same schedule for the entire grade.”

Chi (not her real name), the parent of a fourth-grade student in the district, said: “At the beginning of the school year, teachers told us that there weren’t enough classrooms so Grade 4 and 5 have to change to one session per day. 

“My children have afternoon classes which start at 1.20pm. We have to rearrange our family schedule so that they have time to rest at noon.

“Friday is the only day they have five classes. The rest of the week they have six classes finishing at 5.35pm, which is very late for them."

She added that for primary schoolchildren's mental and physical capacity, six classes per session is too much. 

Principal Nguyễn Hỷ said that if Duy Tân Primary School were to ensure that 100 per cent of its students can study the full day according to the standard schedule, they will need to build 10 more classrooms. 

This is becoming an issue as next year, the new general education curriculum will be deployed for Grade 4, while the school already has to add one more class each year due to the increasing population. 

The teachers’ wish is now simply to have enough staff and classrooms so that they can focus on teaching, rather than thinking of every measure to arrange the timetables and sessions. — VNS