Parents in Ho Chi Minh City have expressed concerns over a high school’s evaluation of its students’ assignments using social media metrics such as likes and shares on Facebook and Zalo.
“I don’t agree with Bui Thi Xuan High School assessing students’ assignments by considering likes and shares on Facebook and Zalo,” a concerned parent said, referring to the school in District 1.
According to the parent, the school has announced a field trip for 10th-grade students to attend the play ‘Love is Escape’ at Tran Huu Trang Theater.
Each student is required to chip in with VND65,000 (US$2.64) for the outing.
Following the play, students will be organized into groups of eight to 10 to complete a collective report in the form of a video.
This assignment is graded on a scale of 10 points, including three points for the understanding of the play, three points for the esthetic element of the report, two points for achieving over 100 likes on their individual Facebook and Zalo posts, and an additional two points for garnering over 50 shares on their personal accounts.
“I’ve heard that the scores [from the outing report] will be used to provide extra points for the literature subject,” the parent said.
“I’m in favor of allowing my child to attend the theater.
“However, I strongly disagree with the school’s practice of grading students’ work based on likes and shares on Facebook and Zalo.
“When it comes to evaluating students, it should be the teachers who are qualified and capable of assessing their work.
“Why should we rely on likes and shares on Facebook and Zalo?”
The parent argues that for students who either do not use social networking platforms or use them infrequently, they will not be able to earn likes and shares to gain points.
“Additionally, considering the competitive nature of high school students, they all want to accumulate as many likes and shares as possible," the parent said.
“This could lead to students becoming more concerned about gathering likes and shares than focusing on their actual understanding of the play.
“It may even encourage them to seek likes and shares from others, diverting their attention from academic responsibilities."
In response, Huynh Thanh Phu, principal of Bui Thi Xuan High School, confirmed that this activity is voluntary, with participating students earning bonus points for their literature scores upon completion.
Regarding parents’ inquiries about the grading system and the requirement for students to share their work on Facebook and Zalo, Phu stated that this approach is the school’s method of teaching the students how to use social media in a responsible and respectful manner.
“In today’s world, social networks are an undeniable reality, posing challenges for administrators,” Phu said.
“Regrettably, misinformation and reactionary content garner many likes and shares.
“At Bui Thi Xuan School, students are encouraged to post clips on social networks that showcase their creative and cultural contributions, promoting positivity and beauty.”
Some readers of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper have commented that Phu’s response is irrelevant.