The “read and write down” education

Published: 21/04/2011 05:00



VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam’s
education has been described as the “read and write down” education (lecturers
read lectures, students write down on their notebooks), which is believed to
stifle the creative capacity of learners.

“Should I
write down what I think in my mind, or should I simply copy from textbook?”, a
third grader named Phuong Nga in Hanoi
stated when he was preparing for the ethics exam the next day.

The boy
raised the question, because though he wanted to write what he thought, he
would get higher marks, if he simply copies from the textbook.

During lesson hours, teachers read,
students write down

“The “read
and write down” teaching should be seen as a passive method, which kills the
creativeness of learners, because there is no interaction between lecturers and
learners,” Le Hai Yen from the Hanoi University of Education wrote in her
report, about how to encourage children’s creativeness.

teaching method in which teachers impose their viewpoints on learners is really
a blunder. Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan, in a letter to leaders of
63 cities and provinces sent earlier this academic year to urgently call on to
stop the “read and write down” teaching method.

despite the calls by the state’s leaders and the efforts educators, the
problematic teaching method is still being used at grammar schools. In lesson
hours, teachers still read lectures, while students simply write down what they
hear from teachers.

Educating children based on adult’s

The answer
that Nga gave to her son was “It’s up to you”. With the answer, Nga did not
want to impose her viewpoint on his son, but gives the boy the right to make

However, in
fact, the boy would not have another choice than writing down the exam papers
the things he learned from textbooks and heard from teachers, if he wanted to
get good marks. Nga and other parents also do not have other choices other than
accepting the current situation of Vietnamese education.

Le Tue
Minh, Director of WellSpring, an international school, related that she
received a letter from a parent after the school opening. In the letter, the
parent complained that the school subjects in Vietnam prove to be dry and rigid,
while Vietnamese education attaches special attention to the learning results.
Therefore, the parent thinks that it is really difficult for teachers to
generate creation to help students get excited in studying

“What I am
concerned most of is, that the education is not provided based on the
children’s demand, but on adults’ purpose,” Minh said.

He went on
to say that advanced teaching methods are the ones which allows to equip
students with the capability to think and use knowledge in reality, the
capability to take actions and solve problems. Teaching does not mean simply
providing as much English or mathematics knowledge as possible.

A lot of
things that are not really useful for children have still been taught; while
necessary life skills have not been provided. Providing knowledge has been
prioritized in the education, while physical training and feeling education
have been disregarded.

Why are the
curriculums too heavy for students? Why is so many useless knowledge still put
into textbooks? Nguyen Ke Hao, former Director of the Primary Education
Department under the Ministry of Education and Training said: “When writing
books, authors all want to show that they have deep knowledge, therefore, they
try to put as much knowledge as possible into the textbooks”.

curriculums can explain why students always complain about the heavy burden put
on their shoulders. A recent survey has found out that students have to use too
many textbooks in lessons. Many students were found as going to school with the
schoolbags weighing nearly five kilos.

Duy Khanh – Hien

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