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Parents, teachers question ban on after-school classes

Update: November, 05/2014 - 09:07
Under the ministry Circular 17, primary schools with full-day courses must manage to complete the day's exercises during class, and cannot assign residual work as homework. — Photo 24h.com.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Despite a Ministry of Education and Training ban on after-school classes, many students and parents take no notice. Some even use the classes as child minding centres while they are still at work.

Under the ministry Circular 17, primary schools with full-day courses must manage to complete the day's exercises during class, and cannot assign residual work as homework.

In schools with half-day schedules, teachers can assign homework, but only an amount that completes the school day. The prohibitions were made in effort to ease excessive amounts of homework heaped on students.

The circular also outlined several other restrictions. Assigned homework can only come from textbooks and schools are not permitted to use them to organise contests to single out outstanding students.

A primary school teacher in Ha Noi's Dong Da District admitted running an after-school class of 30 students.

"Parents ask me to give extra lessons to help their children improve their learning and consolidate their knowledge," the teacher said.

"After-school classes are really good for students, because the school day is so short that students don't have time to practise what they learn. I cannot understand why the ministry banned them," the teacher added.

The teacher also said it was unfair to prohibit primary school teachers from clocking up extra hours when workers in other professions had no problems working extra hours.

Nguyen Thu Hoai, whose daughter studies at Kim Dong Primary School in Ha Noi's Ba Dinh District, said that she preferred sending her children to evening classes rather than leaving them at home where they wasted time watching TV.

"No teacher forced me to take my children to the extra classes. I myself proposed that the teacher offer the classes," she said.

Moreover, Hoai said, she comes home from work too late to pick up her children at 4.30pm.

"After-school classes help since the teacher can help look after my children when I'm running late," she said. — VNS

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