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HCM City to ease ban on extra classes

Update: October, 04/2016 - 15:30
A teacher deliver extra lessons. — Illustrative photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Võ Văn Hoan, chief of staff and spokesperson for the HCM City People’s Committee, said the ban on extra classes would be reviewed.

“The city’s policy is to prohibit misuse of extra classes, in accordance with Circular No. 17; however, the implementation will need a carefully considered roadmap, based on people’s needs and survey results,” he told the press.

At the press conference held last week, Võ Văn Hoan admitted that the policy-making process behind the uncompromising ban of extra classes or private tuitions had not taken people’s opinions into account.

A heavy-handed approach to the implementation of this policy, when students and parents were not psychologically prepared, has led to a number of issues, causing backlash.

“This is a valuable lesson for the city’s authorities. The psychological impact on society must be taken into account”, Hoan said. “Even among the policy-making group, a consensus on the ban on extra classes and private tuitions has not been reached,” he added.

In Việt Nam, private tuitions and extra classes have existed for a long time to assist academically weaker students and prepare strong students for important national examinations/competitions.

"The demand for these extra classes is totally justified," former minister of education and training (MOET) Prof. Dr. Trần Hồng Quân said.

Parents want their children to attend more classes to avoid lagging behind their peers or simply to cut down the time their children spend on the internet, which they deem fraught with temptations and inappropriate content.

A sense of one-upmanship also plays an important role -- when all other parents send their children for extra classes, it’s hard not to do the same.

Private tutoring is not inherently a bad practice; however, the widespread misuse of this form of teaching has led to numerous problems.

In some cases, the official lessons in schools are limited, while the after-school lessons offer more knowledge, tips, knowhow or even exam questions and answers.

This unfair treatment generates mounting pressure for students to join these classes, and hence, abuse is bound to follow.

Teachers try to teach as many classes as possible to gain additional income, but their standard of teaching cannot be guaranteed.

Several private tutoring institutions and training centres are substandard, even though the fee remains exorbitant.

Prohibit the abuse of private tuitions

Nguyễn Thị Thu Cúc, headmaster of the Gia Định High School, said “Current examination system and textbooks are flawed. It’s unreasonable to expect students to acquire all the necessary knowledge on their own, keeping in mind the current difficult and heavy curriculum. In addition, MOET now encourages the self-study approach, but in a classroom, the capacity of students is not the same; some might understand and perform well, while others may not and have to seek extra classes organised by their teachers.”

Hoan stressed, “Abuse of private tuitions will need to be categorically dealt with. In the near future, HCM City will review and rectify state management of extra classes, both in and out of school, formulate better policy to ensure teachers’ income, and renew curriculums, textbooks and the examination system.” — VNS




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