The application for leaving school written by a 10th grader has become the hot topic on education forums. It is believed to truly reflect the current situation of the Vietnamese education.
The student who wrote the application is Tran Van M, a 10th grader. The student seemed to try to follow all necessary steps when writing an application. There were the country name, epigram, heading, dates and the content.
M wrote that he thought he should write the application to ask for the permission to leave school, because he always plays during lessons and he has weak learning ability. His bad learning record has badly affected the scholastic achievements of the whole class and made teachers heavy hearted. He thinks that he does not deserve to be a student of the school any more.
This is for the first time a student writes an application for leaving school. He has honestly admitted that he learned badly and made a lot of mistakes, therefore, it would be better if he leave school, so as to avoid creating adverse effects to the classmates and the school. The sense of shame has prompted the student to do something to escape the situation.
However, the most noteworthy thing in the application of M was that there were too many spelling mistakes. There were 14 spelling mistakes in a short paragraph, not including the mistakes in literary style.
These are the simple mistakes that M should not have made. Vietnamese students need to read and write fluently after they finish the first grade. No one could imagine that a 10th grade student, who is to finish general school after three years, still cannot write an application.
In Vietnam, M, like many other students, are called “the students who sit in the wrong classes.” With their actual learning ability and knowledge, they should attend lower grades. However, they still can move up to the next grade every year, and though going to class everyday, they cannot receive the knowledge designed for high graders.
M and similar students are believed to be the “products” of the education which has suffered from the so called “achievement disease”, a term used to say about the biggest problem now in the education sector. Schools all report high learning achievements of their students, while in fact, the capability of the students is much lower than reported.
The problem of “sitting in wrong classes” once was the hot topic on education forum in 2006-2007, when the Ministry of Education and Training launched the movement of “saying ‘no’ to exam cheating and the achievement disease in education”. At that time, a lot of students were found as having the academic standard not high enough to follow the grades they were in.
A paradox exists that while a lot of students were found as having bad learning capability, they still could pass the final exams.
Thanh nien newspaper some months ago reported that a lot of 10th graders in Nam Tra My district of Quang Nam province could not solve the mathematics questions designed for third graders. Meanwhile, the schools in the localities had nearly 100 percent of students passing the finals in the 2010-2011 academic year.
An inspection tour was then made at the Nam Tra My High School, which found out that most of the 10th graders at the school were weak at all subjects. Only 5-6 students got 5-6/10 marks (average marks) from the tests they attended before starting the new academic year.
The board of management of the Nam Tra My High School then admitted that 10 percent of 10th graders cannot give answers to the mathematics question “4:2=?”.
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