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Students prep for university online

Update: April, 17/2008 - 00:00

Students prep for university online

(18-04-2008)

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 online.

And interactive 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, said Khanh.

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.

Meanwhile, centres 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.

Logging on

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

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