Last update: 10:11 | 18/05/2017
English is considered one of the most important subjects of general education in the context of Vietnam’s global integration. Vietnamese students study English from the third to 12th grade.
The state, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and parents spend big money and time to teach English to students.
A national program worth VND9.3 trillion aims to intensify the teaching and learning of English at general schools, to turn Vietnamese students into ‘global citizens’.
However, despite the efforts, students are still afraid of learning English. Many students are scared of English lessons. Ngoc noted that the number of students who got bad scores in English and have to retake English tests is always higher than in other subjects.
The bad situation in English teaching and learning can be reflected in the results of the high school finals. Students are worst at English with an average exam score of below 5.
Meanwhile, employers complain that Vietnamese university graduates are very weak at English skills, preventing them from working in an international environment.
Literature is another subject that students dislike. Literature is a compulsory exam subject for the high school graduating exams.
The students indifference to literature is blamed on social changes, as most job opportunities are in fields related to natural sciences and technology.
However, Ngoc pointed out that literature can be an interesting subject if teachers have good teaching methods.
Students turn their back to the subject because many teachers don’t have passion for their jobs. They do not reform teaching methods to attract students.
Meanwhile, a high school teacher in Hanoi said the boring curriculum designed for students is also why students do not want to study literature.
Geography and history have similar curriculum structure. Most students complain that history is the most feared subject because there are too many events, figures and dates they have to remember.
Dang Thi Thanh Nguyet, a history teacher from Huynh Thuc Khang High School in Quang Ngai province, commented that textbook compilers pack too much information in texts.
History is not a compulsory exam subject for high school finals. Therefore, only a small percentage of students choose history for their optional exam subjects.