Parents say there are too many “useless” competitions for students

VietNamNet Bridge - Huynh Thanh Hoa, a media executive at an ad firm in Hanoi, has not worked extra hours recently, even though her firm is preparing for a big event to take place in two weeks.


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Competitions help students improve themselves




“I have to spend time to prepare my daughter for a narrators’ competition at school,” she explained.

Hoa’s daughter, a second grader, has attended a lot of competitions over the last two years, from handwriting to aerobics.

“The school hosts many competitions for students which are organized in a very professional way. We have to hire a coach and practice for the competitions,” Hoa said, adding that a rehearsal would be held in three days.

If the teacher refuses to lead the school’s teams to attend the competitions at district and city levels, she is assessed as an incompetent teacher who cannot fulfill the tasks assigned to her.

Hoa said there are too many competitions her daughter to attend, and many of them are ‘profitless’. 

Preparing students for competitions is  not a job teachers like. “We are busy from year to year preparing for competitions,” a primary school teacher in Hanoi said.

If the teacher refuses to lead the school’s teams to attend the competitions at district and city levels, she is assessed as an incompetent teacher who cannot fulfill the tasks assigned to her.

The teacher complained that it’s difficult to persuade parents to allow their children to attend competitions, because parents want their children to spend time on exam preparation.

“Passing exams to enter ‘star’ schools or schools for the gifted is the goal of all Hanoi’s parents. They don’t want their children to waste time on profitless competitions,” she said.

As an educator, she said some competitions are useful, but most are not. Competitions encourage teachers and students to improve, but  unnecessary competitions will cause the ‘achievement disease’ which kills the educational sector.

The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has said that the number of competitions must be reduced in order to help ease burden on primary school students

A secondary school student in Hanoi told reporters that she cannot count how many competitions she has attended. 

“Teachers told us that we are encouraged, not have to attend the competitions. But this is really a must,” she said.

“You will be criticized if you refuse to attend the competitions, because the achievements of the class will be affected because of your absence,” she explained, adding that the competitions did not improve her knowledge.


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Thanh Lich

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