Stories from the classroom
Updated : 06/30/2012 14:17 GMT + 7
Education seems to be one of the several topics that attract great attention on City Diary. After a series on cheating during a high school graduation exam, Do Thi, a teacher and a judge for the exam, wrote to Tuoi Tre to share her thoughts on the testing system and students’ honesty.
“I always tell my students that it is important to be honest. Asking for test answers can be considered violating exam rules, meaning zero marks. But when it comes to the entrance exam, students seem to forget about the ethics lessons they learned in class,” she wrote.
As a teacher who knows the ability of her students, Do Thi said the high percentage of graduates is just a virtual number and was worried about those graduates who do not have adequate knowledge but luckily could finish high school.
Indeed, Vietnamese education has long been known for its overloaded amount of knowledge. Teachers do not have enough time to go through all the lessons and students find it tough to take everything in. As a result, when exams come, students spend more time cramming for the tests than eating and resting. Sympathizing with the teenagers, some teachers also try to be “easy” on their students so that they can pass their exams. This is where dishonesty starts as proctors watch loosely and students become dependent on their cheat sheets and peers.
You may have heard or read about suggestions to improve the testing system in Vietnam, so that stresses from exam will be lifted from the students as well as teachers. But how long does it take for the changes? The question is still left unanswered.
Moving away from sad stories about the national exam, this week we have an Indonesian talking about the fun she has from her Vietnamese class, the knowledge she obtains to survive in Vietnam and the relationship she has built.
“In class after a class, two hours a day and five days a week – we struggled together. The length of time attending four classes creates a bond. The friendship grows. It was not only among the students, but also the teachers. It was a difficult final test at Level Three, but it ended with a nice memory as Cô Thục treated us to bánh xèo or sizzling pancakes. Cô Hà is always keeping in touch through SMS and email – perhaps it is partly to check if we still speak Vietnamese appropriately,” wrote Evelyn.
Classroom is one of great environments to meet people of interest, upon which people start a friendship or even romance. Stivi Cooke, an English teacher and a hospitality trainer in Hoi An, told of small love stories he has witnessed in his classroom in Vietnam.
“On one occasion, I asked one student who was preparing topics for an IELTS exam, “What do you do in your free time?” He shyly replied, “I read love books” Huh? Did he mean bad books? It turned out he meant romantic novels. He was 19! To find a partner is a constant dream…” recalled Stivi.
“It’s hard to keep romance out of the classroom. Teacher practicing past tense: “What did you do last night?” Student loudly proclaims, “I spent all night with my girlfriend!” OooK…. I asked another student, “What did you do last weekend?” “Mr Stivi, My wife and I tried to make a baby!” Ohhhhh…! The entire class couldn’t stop laughing for fifteen minutes, including me…”
What was your school life like? Do you have some great memories to tell? Always feel free to drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and share with us your stories.
That’s it for this week. Have a lovely weekend everyone!