Illustration by Trịnh Lập
By Ngô Minh
A day before a parent-teacher meeting, Phạm Hương from Hoàn Kiếm District posted a status on Facebook calling on her friends not to share the scores their children achieved at school online.
“Posting the scores your children attained on social media could have negative impacts on parents, and more importantly, children,” said Hương.
Following a parent-teacher conference, Hương was happy that her daughter had made good grades, so she shared the results on Facebook and waited for the likes and congratulations to roll in from her friends.
“At that time I felt so proud of my daughter and wanted to share the results as a good memory and as recognition for her efforts,” said Hương.
“I thought it was normal like someone showing off their degree on graduation day, so why I shouldn't I share her success at the end of the school year.”
“I felt proud to read comments like ‘I admire you, you've raised your daughter very well’, ‘like mother, like daughter’, and ‘excellent mother, excellent daughter’,” she added.
Hương said she understood why parents are interested in sharing their children’s achievements on social networks.
However, she acknowledged that when grades were posted on Facebook, it put pressure on parents and children alike.
“I felt nervous and irritated seeing the grades posted by other parents because some were much better than my daughter's results,” she said.
“Some of us remember when we were young our parents compared us with other children, and how unhappy we felt,” said Hương.
“It’s not good for us or our kids,” she said.
“We realise now our pride may increase the pressure on our children, and they may feel bad if their results don't continue to improve.”
Vũ Thị Nhung, a teacher in the northern province of Nam Định, said she got annoyed when parents shared their kids' results and certificates of merit on social media.
“I feel like parents use their children’s results for their own pleasure. I have never shared my children’s scores on Facebook,” said Nhung.
“As an educator, I think this causes unnecessary anxiety for children."
Psychologist Trần Hữu Đức said it was necessary to clarify the purpose of posting scores online. "If your children knew you were going to post their scores, would you have their approval?" he asked.
“Study results are a personal issue that need to be used carefully,” said Đức.
“Parents should be aware of the consequences of sharing their children's grades. It could encourage and motivate them, but on the other hand it could humiliate them.”
“In my opinion, it’s not safe to share personal information on the network,” he said.
Đức said people should respect the privacy of students.
“It will teach children independence, self-respect and responsibility,” he added.
Nguyễn Thị Nga, deputy director of the Children's Department at the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, agreed that revealing results could influence the child's psychology.
“Children can feel embarrassed and pressured if they don’t meet their parents' expectations or if they are compared with other children,” she said.
She reported that many children had been abused due to information leaks on social networks. She said at a recent conference in Hà Nội that people should protect children’s rights following the Law on Children issued on July 1, 2017.
It is illegal to disclose information on the personal lives of children who are over seven years old without their consent.
“Children’s feelings are what we should care about,” she said.
Recently, Cầu Giấy District’s Education and Training Bureau upset many talented children by presenting them with empty boxes as gifts at the end of the school year.
Those 300 students were invited to attend a ceremony where they received applause and what they thought would be a reward for their hard work. However, when they opened the boxes, they were empty. There are no words to express how depressed they felt.
In wake of numerous complaints, Phạm Ngọc Anh, bureau chief, explained that the awards money would be sent to the parents later because he was afraid the students could lose them. The boxes were intended as a “symbolic” gesture, and he apologised for not informing the students before.
Nguyễn Ngọc Phương, member of the National Assembly, said he didn’t agree with leaders of Cầu Giấy District’s Education and Training Unit.
“For children, the value of a gift is not as important as the way they are recognised,” said Phương. VNS