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Teachers overloaded with work under new marking system
  • | VietnamNet | June 08, 2015 01:50 PM

Most primary school students received positive remarks from teachers at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year under a new marking system that assesses students with comments, not marks.

Do Quyen, a teacher in the central region, in an email to Giao Duc Viet Nam newspaper, wrote that primary school teachers are under more stress than before because of the new system.

A colleague of Quyen complained that she had to spend several sleepless nights commenting on 1,000 student school reports.

“Teachers have to brainstorm to find reasonable comments to give to students,” she wrote.

Nga, a teacher at a primary school in Hanoi, confirmed that the new system has overloaded teachers.

However, she said, the big efforts made by teachers were useless. “Parents are not satisfied because they don’t have exact information about their children’s abilities,” she said.

“We have been told that primary school students, on their first days at school, need to be encouraged with compliments rather than discouraged with bad marks,” she said.

“But I think the other way. Students should understand the true value of compliments and they should become familiar with criticism and bad marks,” she said.

A colleague of Nga’s noted that she doesn’t know where the compliment-based teaching method would lead.

“We have to give compliments not only to the students with outstanding abilities, but also to the students who don’t do well and have bad conduct,” she said.

“I will have to say to them: ‘You are good, but if you try harder, you will be better’,” she explained. “As such, teachers now work as photocopiers which copy compliments to deliver to students.”

The headmaster of the school said that she asks teachers to give “more compliments” than “criticism” as per the request by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and the city’s education department.

“Compliments are found everywhere, in students’ books, learning records and year-end reports. Even merit papers are filled up with abstract words that even adults cannot understand,” she said.

“Most teachers do not like to be too ‘generous’ in giving compliments,” she added.

Circular No 30 is the legal document which created the foundation for the new teaching method under which teachers give comments instead of marks to primary school students.

Hoang Anh, a parent, said MOET’s new method was not a good idea. “Too many compliments will do more harm than good to students,” she said.

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