A parent and child choose new textbooks for the new school term in HCM City. — VNS Photo Văn Châu
HCM CITY — Nguyễn Thi Thu Tuyết has spent VNĐ600,000 (US$26) for new textbooks and learning tools for the new school curriculum this year, nearly triple the amount compared to other textbooks.
Tuyết said that to prepare for her first-grade child in HCM City, she had to pay more than VNĐ1 million to buy three sets of school uniforms and one physical education uniform that cost nearly VNĐ600,000.
Similarly, Huỳnh Tấn Minh in Gò Vấp District had to spend VNĐ1.5 to 2 million ($65-87) to prepare for his first-grade child.
The Government will not subsidise the new textbooks, so the parents have to buy the new textbooks for their children, he added.
Nguyễn Thành Trung, chief of the secretariat at the city’s Department of Education and Training, said that all five sets of textbooks, approved by the education ministry, will be about VNĐ300,000 (US$12.9) each, nearly double compared to last year's textbooks.
The city will spend a part of its budget to buy sets of textbooks for students with financial difficulties if they cannot afford to buy them, Hiếu said.
In Tân Phú District, which is one of the localities having the largest number of low-income migrant workers in the city, a principal of a school in the district said the school will seek donations to buy textbooks for students with financial difficulties.
Of the five sets, the Chân Trời Sáng Tạo textbooks were chosen by 80 per cent of the city’s schools.
Nearly 1 million copies of the textbooks have been printed, accounting for 81 per cent of the total textbook copies issued in the city, according to Việt Nam Education Publishing House Co.Ltd.
Because the textbooks were written by many authors from the southern region, words and phrases as well as data are familiar to students.
“Many primary teachers in the city also took part in compiling them,” Hiếu said.
He said the city’s teachers are using new teaching and testing methodologies that will be compatible with the textbooks.
To meet the demands of the new training programme, Hiếu said that having enough classrooms for first graders is a challenge because schools face a shortage of classrooms. The city’s land fund for building more schools is limited.
The new training programme will require first-graders to study throughout the day. In the morning shift, students will study Vietnamese, maths, and other subjects. In the afternoon shift, they will receive instruction through various activities.
First-graders will study six days per week instead of five days if they study all day.
The city has instructed educational sup-departments and schools to review their facilities and teaching aids and devices, Hiếu said.
The city has 551 primary schools, including 484 public schools, an increase of four compared to the previous academic year.
There are 3,550 classrooms for the first grade for the 2020-21 school year, with a shortage of 443, according to the department.
Hiếu has instructed schools to use classrooms, halls and schoolyards to organise activities to teach skills to first graders if they lack classrooms. — VNS