VietNamNet Bridge – More and more Vietnamese parents believe that their children need to go to school soon before the school age, so as to have the best conditions to develop into child prodigies.
L.V, a parent in Dong Da district in Hanoi, said that her son, a five year old boy, has learnt the alphabet by heart, can count until one million, do four basic operations, and most importantly, he is eager for going to school. Therefore, she wants to bring the child to the first grade right now instead of waiting until the next summer. However, L.V failed to persuade her husband to let the child go to school before the school age.
“If referring to the current regulations, my child would be able to go to the first grade in September 2014. Until now, he still goes to kindergarten, where he only pays and watches TV, which is a great waste of time,” she complained.
In Vietnam, children begin going to school when they turn six. However, many of them become first graders when they get five years old only, because their parents believe that going to school soon would bring advantages to their children in comparison with other classmates.
In order to be able to enter first grade before the age of six, parents have to amend the certificates of birth of their children with the “assistance” of the local authorities.
However, not everyone agrees with the idea that children should be brought to school soon, especially when they have to amend the certificates of birth.
N.P, a parent of a first grader of the Ly Thai To Primary School, said he feels regret the decision on bringing the child to school at the age of five.
“My wife insisted that he needed to go to school soon. And now my son is learning together with the classmates born in 2006. Instead of playing with the friends at kindergarten, my child now has to learn hard at primary school,” he complained.
“When you bring your children to school soon, you would shorten their wonderful childhoods,” he said.
Pham Ha Thanh, a teacher of the Le Quy Don High School in Ha Dong district in Hanoi, also thinks that going to school soon is not a good solution.
Thanh herself went to school sooner than expected. “Though my learning records were okay, I still felt I was at a disadvantage compared with the classmates, because I had to learn harder than them to get good learning achievements,” she said.
Therefore, though Thanh’s son now can read and write well, he still goes to kindergarten and Thanh does not bring the boy to primary school right now. Especially, she wishes that children would only have to go to school at the age of seven.
However, parents have been told that educators have scientific and pedagogical reasons to conclude that children should begin going to school at the age of six. Nguyen Tien Thanh, former Director of the primary education department of the Ministry of Education and Training, said only when children get six years old, will they be physically capable and psychologically ready enough to fulfill the learning duties. Children would have less time in their lives to play, because they have to go to school soon.
Dr. Nguyen Tung Lam, Chair of the Hanoi Education Psychology Association, said a lot of parents had an illusion that their sons or daughter would become child prodigies because they can read and write before the school age. However, a lot of such children never can become prodigies.