Ministry removes floor-mark mechanism, vows to ensure input quality

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has decided to remove the controversial floor-mark mechanism. However, it is still unclear what mechanism would be applied instead to ensure the quality of the universities’ input students.

It’s time to end floor-mark mechanism

floor-mark mechanism, education quality, student quality

Astonished about the MOET’s decision to announce the end of the floor mark mechanism, Vu Van Hoa, Vice President of the Hanoi University of Business and Technology, said if no minimum required standards are set, it would be impossible to control the higher education’s quality.

The floor mark mechanism has been used for the last many years as the instrument to select the most capable students for university education. High school graduates must obtain the marks equal to, or higher than the floor marks to be eligible for enrolling in any universities in Vietnam.

“What will happen if the floor mark mechanism does not exist any more? Does it mean that the weak students who get 5 or 6 marks (for three exam subjects) would also be able to go to a university?” Hoa said, adding that it is impossible to train the students with too low learning capability.

“There must be minimum required standards on students, and the standards should be the results of the university entrance exams,” he noted.

Hoang Minh Son, Head of the Training Division of the Hanoi University of Technology, also said that there should be a barrier to prevent weak students from entering universities.

Nguyen Kim Son, Deputy Director of the Hanoi National University, one of the most prestigious schools in Vietnam, noted that the removal of the floor mark mechanism may lead to the degradation in the training quality, if schools are not selective in enrolling students and do not attach much importance to the training.

However, MOET believes that it is now the right time to “declare death” for the floor-mark mechanism, once the education law gives the “autonomy” to universities, i.e. that the schools have the right to select students based on their requirements.

If so, the existence of the floor marks applied to all schools proves to be unreasonable in the new circumstances.

How to “measure” input students’ quality

According to Mai Van Trinh, Head of the MOET’s Examination and Quality Testing Agency, the principle of MOET is that there must be the threshold to help select most capable students. However, instead of setting up the floor marks for all schools nationwide, the “thresholds” need to be designed in another way to make it more reasonable, flexible.

Le Viet Khuyen, a well-known education expert, also commented that if MOET still maintains the floor-mark mechanism, it would turn the whole country into a big university. Instead of setting up common floor marks for all schools, it would be better for the ministry to announce the minimum requirements on input students.

Son from the Hanoi University of Technology suggested that it is necessary to set up the standards for input students, which may comprise of the requirements on the exam mark or learning records at high school. The indexes would be referred to by universities when enrolling students.

Tien Phong

floor-mark mechanism, education quality, student quality