Textbooks turn out to have too many mistakes

VietNamNet Bridge – Textbooks used in teaching and learning at general schools are believed to provide standard knowledge. However, educators have found a lot of mistakes in the books.

Textbooks, students, schools

The “Vietnamese Language for first graders” of the Vietnam Education Publishing House, belonging to the Ministry of Education and Training has been found as containing the most mistakes.

In the textbook, one can see a lot of mistakes relating to the writing style in small or capital letters. On page 81, the word “Chao Mao” (red whiskered bulbul) was written in capitals, but on page 85, the word “Tu hu” (koel) was written in small capitals, though both “Chao Mao” and “Tu Hu” are the names of birds.

On page 89, one can see the word “Sao Sau” (black necked grackle) in capital letters, but “chau chau” (grasshopper) and “cao cao” (green grasshopper) in small letters.

On page 115, the book wrote “Trai gai ban muong” (Boys and girls in Muong ethnic minority hamlet), while “Muong” should have been written in capital letter because it is a proper noun.

Educators agree that the textbooks compiled for first graders need to be clear and understandable to their age. However, the authors of the textbooks used many enigmatic words, thus making the small students confused.

Hong Hanh, a parent, whose child is a first grader, complained that the authors seem to try to keep students guessing.

On page 29, the textbook wrote “Bo be co co, bo be no ne” (cows have grass, they are full up). “Why don’t the authors use the word “eat” instead of “have” – cows eat grass, they are full up?” Hanh questioned.

“Even parents have to think about the word to understand its meaning, let alone the small students aged 6,” she complained.

Ngo Ba, the father of a second grader, said he is so surprised with the knowledge provided in the reference book “Let’s learn Vietnamese” of the Hanoi Publishing House.

Ba said the authors gave a lot of multiple-choice questions which puzzle both parents and students.

The proverb “Co cong mai sat co ngay nen kim” (diligence is the mother of success) was shown to students to find how they understand it. Three choices were offered to students, but all of them were wrong.

“More seriously, the given answers all gave wrong understanding about the interesting proverb,” Ba said.

The history textbook for sixth graders is thin with only 84 pages, but there are so many mistakes, which have not been corrected in the next reprints.

The textbook reprinted in 2013 wrote that the invading army, which lost the battle, had to “steal to Quy Mon Quan” in Quang Ninh province to run away, while in fact, it is in Chi Lang district of Lang Son province.

Meanwhile, the word “steal” here is unreasonable, because it can be used to show the secret action of a person, not a whole army.

Professor Vu Minh Giang, Deputy Chair of the Vietnam History Science Association, complained that the association’s opinions about the mistakes have been ignored. He has called on people to raise their voice, asking the publishing houses to correct their mistakes, or Vietnamese students continue receiving wrong knowledge.

K. Chi

Textbooks, students, schools