prep for university online
HA NOI — Nguyen Thanh
Hang, a student at Huynh Thuc Khang high school, Vinh city, in the central
province of Nghe An, doesn’t have to worry about the expense of going to the
capital to study for her university entrance exams because she can now do it
educational websites, that have mushroomed in the last few months, are proving
increasingly popular with students.
"The main reason why
online study is popular is that the preparatory classes are up to date and
inexpensive," said Le Thi Khanh, a teacher at Huynh Thuc Khang.
Another reason is that
most of the colleges offering preparatory courses for the university entrance
exam are in Ha Noi, and travelling to the capital can be expensive for students,
Among the more popular
educational websites is www.quickhelp.vn that was launched last year. It
has since moved to www.ABCDonline.vn. The website offers courses for grade 9 to
grade 12 students.
It was set up by Bach Khoa
Aptech, from Polytechnic Vocational College. It has six online managers.
"We are in the
process of turning the website into a virtual school for students," said
Phan Dang Dinh, 32, one of the site’s managers.
To access the website,
students must pay between VND50,000 (US$3) and VND100,000 ($6).
A similar service is
offered by Novatechnology, which charges VND50,000 to students who access its
website at www.thaytro360.com. Aside from answering students’ questions,
members can also blog one another.
"At present, about
5,000 students are now website members and we expect this number to increase to
500,000 by 2009," said Nguyen Ngoc Khanh, one of the website’s managers.
Other teaching sites
include www.onbai.com, www.onthi.com, www.toancapba.com and www.toanthpt.net.
offering more traditional classroom-based teaching in Ha Noi are deserted.
"Only a few students
have enquired about courses. The number of students registering with us is not
much at all," said a teacher at an education centre on Ta Quang Buu Street,
close to Ha Noi University.
Some training centres in
the capital have gone out of business or become guest houses and restaurants.
One on Ta Quang Buu Street is now a photocopying shop.
All students need to do is
access the internet.
"I have my computer
connected to the internet at home so it is very convenient for me to learn this
way," said Tran Manh Tien, a high school student in Ha Noi.
Others, such as Nguyen
Hung Cuong from Thai Binh Province, use internet cafes.
"I use internet shops
to log on for several hours at a time. I can download and print out test papers
and do them at home," he said.
Demand for online study
programmes is expected to grow – particularly when the Ministry of Education
and Training combines, as it has said it would do, the high school graduation
exam and the university entrance exam into one.
However, students can be
daunted by the sheer number of educational websites now offering training
courses, said Nguyen Thi Bong, a teacher in Ha Noi.
"It is necessary to
pick a good website that teaches students just what they need to know, rather
than one that bombards them with too much information," he said. — VNS