Possible reforms in grading system for early elementary students
  • By Nguyen Hung | | August 14, 2013 04:05 PM
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A possible change in the regulations that would replace the traditional mark-based system with teachers simply giving their remarks for first-graders seems to have stirred up some public concern.


Reforming grading system for young students meant to ease pressures

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) recently sent recommendations to departments of education and training across the country to require teachers not to give marks on the study results of first grade students or compare one student with another. They would also discourage criticism in class. Instead, teachers would only give remarks and assessments.

The policy was set to take effect this current school year, but it seemed to be at odds with the ministry’s Circular 32 on the evaluation and rating of primary students.

As a result, the MoET  was compelled to amend the regulation, encouraging teachers not to share the results of their young students with their families.

Still, the regulation would not be applied until after the ministry adjusts the standing circular.

Several educators have shown support for the new regulation, claiming that it would ease pressures for both students in the first grade and their parents.

"Giving marks to students at such an early age creates pressure for them just as they are beginning to read and write. Their parents also compare their performance with the children of friends. Actual education could benefit from losing this practice," said Pham Xuan Tien, head of Primary Education Office under the Hanoi municipal Department of Education and Training.

Still, several parents and teachers have not shown support for the new regulation.

“Ggiving marks to students is a good idea. The new rules are meant to provide a more relaxed study environment, but I wonder how it will affect the results of actual study. A lot of parents worry about the same thing," said Pham Hong Nhung, the mother of one first-grader.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen, a first grade teacher at Thanh Cong B Primary School, said that giving students remarks would stimulate them in their study, adding that students who receive bad marks so early in their school careers can be effected in the long term.

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