Should we take our children to extra classes before they enter the first grade? Though that seems to be an old question, it still needs to be mentioned because many parents consider summer vacation a time for their children to spend in extra classes.
Pedagogues point out that schooling before age four only does more harm than good, Photo: Tuoi Tre
This summer, my niece who lives in Ho Chi Minh City with her parents finished nursery school. Her parents decided to allow her to go to the countryside for summer vacation. Meanwhile, many children who live in the same neighborhood have already gone to extra classes preparing them for the first grade. When I asked her parents about this, surprisingly, they did not approve of their children having private tutoring in the curriculum of the first grade before the school year began.
They explained that their allowing my niece to spend her summer vacation in the countryside was aimed at giving her a chance to discover more about nature. She rarely had any occasion to go to the countryside before, since they live in the city. It was necessary for her to habituate herself to the counstryside life with buffaloes, paddy fields, fishing-boats, colourful flower-gardens… these useful things could help to increase her knowledge, instead of spending time in these extra classes. On the other hand, she would study with a better state of mind in the first grade. To be honest, I am both pleased and content with this decision.
However, I am still worried that there are many parents who have been “ripping off” the childhood of their children. They are afraid that their children will be second to the other children. Scientists have warned that schooling before age four could do more harm than good. The bones of the children haven’t completed developing, so they can not sit for a long period of time. Moreover, their hands are not strong enough to adjust their handwriting. The unceasing adjustment in their handwriting could lead to the inflexion of their hand-joints, which has a negative impact on the laboring function as well as the aesthetics.
Pedagogues point out that schooling before age four only does more harm than good. Since the children have already learnt all the knowledge in school curriculum, they are not interested in studying as well as discovering new knowledge. They may surpass their other schoolmates for the first period. Nevertheless, the distance will soon be narrowed considerably. They will lag behind and make no progress in their study. Besides, their following school years will become, somehow, a burden. Studying will be truly a nightmare hanging its shadow over their childhood. Previously, only a few pupils read and wrote fluently in the first grade. Nowadays, nearly every pupil knows how to do it fluently. I know a teacher who goes so far as to require the pupils to write down the timetable.
The educational branch imposes strict rules that the teachers must teach according to the planned distributed teaching program. At the first grade, basic knowledge about the letters of Vietnamese alphabet is taught to children. Yet most of the pupils now can read and write Vietnamese fluently before entering the first grade. They should start with the second grade, not the first grade!
I, too made the same mistake when I took my own child to these extra classes. Just two weeks after the school year had started, the teacher complained to me that my child did not have any concern for his study at school. It was not very incomprehensible, my child already knew how to read a newspaper, so he felt no need to pay attention to letter recognition. His study results were no different from his classmates who did not spend their summer vacation in extra classes before entering the first grade, even in the following school years.
In order to resolve this outstanding yet lasting question, I think that the educational branch should first promote the mobilization of children from pre-school age classes at peak. In addition, parents should also change their consideration: they should not force their children to study in extra classes, the teacher should not require the pupils to read and write Vietnamese fluently before entering the first grade. Silmutaneously, we should also ask private teachers not to teach the curriculum of the first grade to pre-school age children.
|< Prev||Next >|
» Good news for separated twins
» Writing contest for children encourages love for country
» One of the babies in the separated twins in danger
Latest Category Posts
- Hanoi suspends private university for falsifying enrollment documents
- Japanese students to visit HCMC school on exchange program
- Hanoi, HCMC to host French-German education expos next weekend
- Half of HCMC middle school students near-sighted: survey
- Premier Australian school to boost vocational training
- WB calls for re-think on staff training
- Project management education critical for Vietnam
- Giving up studies, overseas students sent back home
- Educational pioneer makes learning fun
- Schooling Vietnamese students in the art of business
Random Category Picks
- Resolution on comprehensive education reform issued
- Textbooks for general school students “forget” General Giap
- State agencies admit it’s difficult to control private nursery schools
- Foreign-invested schools lack rules
- Private university caught falsifying enrollment documents
- Students for hire in Vietnamese schools
Popular Category Posts
- 57 excellent students to be honored
- MOET’s blunder leads to low training quality at medical schools
- Dormitories left idle, students lack accommodations
- HCMC education funding tied up in red tape tangle
- Famous teacher Hoang Nhu Mai passes away
- PM Dung calls for highly creative, brighter teachers
- Japan offers graduate scholarships to Vietnamese government officials
- Overseas Vietnamese students plagued by personal data theft
- Students sent abroad to become… farmers
- School meals under inspection after spate of food poisoning
- 80% of Vietnamese college students lie to parents: survey
- Hanoi University criticized for imposing fine on tuition payment delay
- Non-regular training modes dying slowly
- New textbooks must mention General Vo Nguyen Giap: Historian
- Vietnamese parents oppose early school hours
- US promotes overseas study activities in Vietnam
- MOET revokes economics university lecturer’s doctorate
- Overseas students have gruel instead of rice because of stipend delay
- Primary school students rush to hunt for English certificates
- Street children abused at Saigon's charity center