The new academic year would begin in two months. A lot of parents rush to bring their children to hospitals to get the certificates on mental health which they would submit to the schools. Why?
Illiterate children believed to suffer mental diseases
An officer of the HCM City Children’s Hospital said that the hospital usually receives more patients in the months from April, when the academic year finishes to August, when the new academic year begins.
Tran Thi My Anh, who lives in Binh Thanh district in HCM City, said that the teacher of her daughter asked her to bring the child to hospital to have mental health examination, because the girl always had bad learning record and she lagged behind other classmates.
“I deliberately did not let my daughter learn to read and write before she entered primary school. My husband and I did not want my child to learn too hard, because she needed time to play. And now I feel regret about the decision,” she said.
Also according to Anh, when receiving students, the teacher asked them to fulfill a test and she could easily realize who could read and write already, and who could not.
“If any student could not read or write, he would be listed as bad student or as the student with intellectual problems,” Anh said.
Kieu Thanh Ha, MA, from the Psychology Ward of the HCM City Children’s Hospital No. 2 said that a lot of parents entreated her to give them the certificates that their children have mental problems. “However, I refuse to give them the certificates, because their children were absolutely in normal conditions,” she said.
80 percent of children wrongfully thought as suffering mental problems
The three psychological specialists of the HCM City Children’s Capital No. 2 said that every month they receive 40 patients who are students, but 80 percent of the patients are completely in normal conditions, which means that the students were wrongly thought as suffering mental problems.
“Many of the patients, who came to see me, were in completely normal conditions. They simply still could not read and write, because they did not learn to do these things, not because they were slow on the uptake, or because they had problems,” Ha said.
She went on to say that teachers and parents nowadays tend to force students to learn reading and writing soon, before they go to primary school, at the age of 4-5.
“This is an unscientific method which would harm children. However, despite the warnings by experts, children still have been put under hard pressure,” she said.
Especially, in Vietnam, the children from well off families now begin learning foreign languages at the age of 4-5, even when they still cannot speak and write Vietnamese fluently. Children who can do math, read and write well when entering the first grade, would be listed as “clever students.”
However, psychologists have warned that forcing children to learn before their age would do more harm than good, A lot of students get tired of learning, because they go to school every day just to attend the lessons and receive the knowledge they know already. As a result, they become lazy and do not fulfill the home exercises given by the teachers.
“It always takes much time to treat the diseases. One of my patients could only regain the aspiration for learning when she entered the fourth grade,” Ha said.
“If schools and parents do not change the way of education, more students would be wrongly concluded as suffering mental problems,” Ha warned.
Source: Lao dong/ VNN
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