The 2011-2012 academic year is nearly ending, but second graders still have to learn hard to prepare for the exams to obtain Cambridge English certificate “Starters” level.
The small path in front of the Duong Minh Chau Primary School in district 10 of HCM City was full of people, though it was early in the morning of a Sunday. Parents flocked to the school, bringing their children there to attend the exams for Cambridge English certificate.
There were 52 exam rooms and 1000 examinees, mostly second graders from 16 primary schools in districts 10, 11 and Binh Tan, who attended the English test in accordance with international standards.
This was just one of the Starters exams held weekly from March to June.
All family takes the exam
After leading children to the exam rooms, parents were requested to go out of the school before the test began. However, the parents, who felt worried about the children, did not go home, but gathered outside the school.
A parent said the whole her family had to prepare for the exam of the daughter. She said she felt so nervous as if she was an examinee. Meanwhile, another parent, pointing to the crowd of people waiting for their children in front of the school, said that the scene looks like the one on the university entrance exam days.
In Vietnam, the university entrance exam is a national exam, which is considered the most important exam in the life of every student.
At 7.20 am, when all students were present at exam rooms already and prepared for the exam, a little girl with bloodshot eyes completely panic stricken rushed into the school entrance. After showing the exam card with photo, she was told that she would attend the exam in the afternoon.
The girl sighed with relief and left the school. She got up late that morning and thought that she was too late to the exam. The father, who carried her to school on motorbike, crumbled against the daughter.
The worries of adults
While educators say this is just a simple test, parents consider this an important exam in the life of their children. Therefore, both children and parents lived in tense on the days to prepare for the test.
“If my child cannot reach the required English level, he may not be allowed to continue studying at the school,” a parent said.
A lot of parents have asked their children to learn hard to prepare for the exam which is considered the opportunity for them to attend English intensive classes, which can enjoy more preferences than other normal classes of the same schools.
Tran Thanh Hai, whose son studies at the An Lac 3 Primary School in Binh Tan district, said that he really wants his son to pass the exam, so that the child can attend the day boarding class.
“If he fails the exam, this means that he would be able to go to the day boarding class any more. If so, everything would get upset, and parents would not have time to bring and see off children every day,” Hai said.
Dr Le Ngoc Diep, Head of the Primary Education Division of the HCM City Education and Training Department, said that Starters exams are organized to standardize the English skills of primary school students.
Since the 2010-2011 academic year, the students entering first grade do not have to attend the entrance test to English intensive class. Instead, they would attend the test for Starters certificates when they finish the second grade. Only the students, who can meet the requirements, would be eligible for continuing studying at English intensive classes.
Source: NLD/ VNN
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