Apr 1, 2013

Vietnam - General school students keep indifferent to apprentice training

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VietNamNet Bridge – General school students have been indisposed to follow apprentice training, because they cannot see the benefits from the lessons.

The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) believes that students not only need academic lessons to have disciplinary knowledge, but also apprentice training in order to have practice skills. However, the apprentice training at school does not have much significance for students.

Attending apprentice training because schools tell to do that

In principle, apprentice training is optional for general school students. However, nearly 100 percent of students register to attend apprentice lessons.

When asked about the reason to attend the lessons, most of the students said the teachers told them to do that. Meanwhile, some others said if they attend the lessons, they would get “bonus marks” which would be counted on when considering their final exam results. If they don’t get the required marks from the national finals to be able to graduate high school, the “bonus marks” would “rescue” them.

However, to the majority of students, the certificate on attending apprentice training does not have much significance. Finals are not too difficult for the students with average learning capability. About 90 percent of high schools reportedly pass the finals every year.

A teacher, who asked to be not named, said the students with good learning capability won’t register to attend apprentice lessons if they are not told to do that, because the students strive to continue higher education after finishing high school, while they don’t intend to go to vocational schools.

Schools tend to force their students to go to apprentice training just because of the so called “achievement disease.” If schools have high numbers of students following the training, they would be commented by the education departments. The higher percentage of students attending apprentice training also means the higher percentage of students who can graduate high school.

Under the current regulation, students can decide if they are apprentice to either electrician, informatics officers, tailor or cook. However, in fact, schools said they don’t have necessary conditions to strictly follow the regulation.

Deputy Headmaster of the Quang Trung High School in Dong Da district in Hanoi-- Doan Hanh, has confirmed that though this is an optional training, the school requests 100 percent of its 11th graders to follow apprentice lessons.

A big waste of time and money

Students keep indifferent to apprentice lessons partially because the cursory knowledge they receive from the lessons is not enough to help them become proficient in their works. The only thing students can receive after attending the training courses is the certificate on their attendance.

A 9th grader, who was apprenticed to electrician when he was an 8th grader, could not give the answer when he was asked about parallel circuit. An 11th grader could not fulfill an embroidery exercise, though she said she had been practicing embroidery for the last few years.

Educators say it’s a big waste of time and money for schools to organize apprentice training courses and for students to arrange their time to attend the lessons. Meanwhile, the training does not help the students in their future lives.

They have warned that once MOET removes the “bonus mark” mechanism, no student would attend the training, because they cannot see any benefits from the lessons.

Le Anh Viet

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