Learning machine abuse warned in Vietnam
  • | VietnamNet | August 15, 2012 01:08 PM

Machine learning has become in fashion among the well-off families in big cities in Vietnam. However, educators have warned that the learning machine abuse would do more harm than good.


Learning machine market bustling

It seems that in the digital age, humans also want to follow the digital way to approach knowledge. A lot of children now go to kindergarten with smart pens, Ezl Talk, or iPads priced at millions of dong, which their parents believe the most useful and convenient tools for their children to learn.

Nguyen Thanh Van in the Dinh Cong new residential quarter in Hoang Mai district in Hanoi said her elder child, who goes to the first grade this year, has to carry on his bag a very heavy schoolbag with too many textbooks. Therefore, she decided to buy a tablet for the child, which is compact and portable.

Van can also teach the younger child, who is three years old, with the tablet. “With Baby Learn Animal, my child can know all the animals shown in the program,” Van said, stressing that tablet is very suitable for children to play and learn.

Huynh Van Bao, a boy in Ba Dinh district, likes reading Doremon strip cartoon. Therefore, Bao’s mother decided to allow the boy to read cartoons on Internet. The parent feels satisfactory about her idea, because the boy can get familiar with computer soon, while she does not have to spend money to buy books.

“I have bought a tablet at 3 million dong for my child, so that my child can install software pieces to learn after school hours,” she said.

Especially, English learning machines have been selling very well in big cities, where children begin learning English when they get 4-5 years old.

Dao Thi Hien in Dong Da district in Hanoi said that her colleagues all have bought English learning machines for their children. Hien also wants to buy a machine for her child, but she still does not know what machine to buy, because there are too many choices.

In general, the machines fit the pocket of medium class parents which have the sale prices of 2-3 million dong.

Machine abuse warne

Instead of going out together with mother to practice physical exercises every afternoon, Van’s child spends most of his time learning with the tablet. He holds the tablet when he is in bed, during the lunches or even in toilet.

Van said she fears that the boy may suffer from eyesight problems, if he looks at the screen of the tablet all day. In fact, she wants him to go out to play with other children or do physical exercises. However, she fails to persuade the boy to do that, because playing online games proves to attract the boy more than any other games.

Nguyen Thanh Tam, a busy office worker, said her child began working with computer since he got seven years old. The boy has always been absorbed in playing with computer, and he does not bother the mother. Therefore, Tam has free time to do housework.

However, she now feels worried when the boy regularly relates distorted fairly tales and songs he reads on Internet which may affect the characteristics of the boy.

Tam has been advised to consult with psychologists and educators about how to teach children to work with computer. In the immediate time, Tam has decided to allow the child to access to Internet under the control of the parents.

Hien also feels uneasy about the safety of English learning machine to her child, saying that the small screen 3.2 or 2.1 inches would badly affect the children’s eyesight. Salesmen also advised parents not to buy the machines if the children have eye problems.

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