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What pressure could the school put on forcing students to drop out of the exam?

HanoiAlthough the question of ‘forcing students to drop out of the 10th grade exam’ was denied, some principals admitted that this situation may have happened to some extent, due to certain pressures.

On the evening of April 19, many forums reflect Some schools in Hanoi have mobilized and even asked their poor 9th graders to transfer to private schools, vocational schools or commit not to take the public 10th grade exam.

The Department of Education and Training of Cau Giay district – the area where two schools were named – confirmed “This suspicion is unfoundedMeanwhile, the Department of Education asked all secondary schools to review and stop mobilizing students to drop out of the 10th grade exam. Before the response of the Department and the Division, many angry parents and still confirm, this is a situation that has existed for many years. On many forums, similar stories from years ago continued to be shared.

Nearly 30 years of teaching and management experience, Ms. Tran Nhung (changed name) – the principal of a secondary school in Hanoi conjectured, Performance pressure may be the cause causing some schools to encourage poor students to drop out of exams.

Ms. Nhung said that after each public 10th grade entrance exam, the average score of each school will be statistics by the Department of Education. Although not an official evaluation criterion, schools are still reminded and asked to develop an improvement plan, if there are poor results. In any class or school, the more students who fail the exam, the more likely it is that the average score will be pulled down, leading to low achievement.

“It’s internally circulated, but somehow these statistics are still spread out. Therefore, low rankings will affect the reputation of the school,” she said, with pressure, she said. Therefore, schools will want to reduce as many underperforming students as possible.

The principal of a secondary school in the suburbs also said that the reputation of the schools, especially in the 12 inner-city districts – where the rate of competition is high – is a factor that is very important, both for the school and for the parents. “Everybody wants their child to go to a good school, and one of the ‘good’ criteria that parents look at is the passing of 10th grade,” he said.

Parents and children check papers before an exam in Hanoi in 2020. Photo: Tung Dinh

Parents and children check documents before an exam in Hanoi 2020. Photo: Tung Dinh

In addition, the feeling of “forced apprenticeship” may occur at counseling and career guidance, conducted in 9th grade near the end of the school year.

The project “Vocational education and student stream orientation in general education for the period 2018-2025” has a specific goal of striving for at least 25-30% of secondary school graduates to continue studying at vocational education institutions.

According to the principals, the orientation and stream of students after secondary school is reasonable, because in fact, some students are not able or do not want to continue their education. These children may be suitable for apprenticeships. The school’s mission is to help students understand their own abilities, provide information about options for them to shape their own future.

Ms. Nhung said that this year, her school organizes four mock exams for 10th grade. After that, the school will filter the list of students who only get 0-2 points in each subject in all four times, comparing them with their annual academic scores. and consult with the head teacher. If there are enough grounds to show that it is difficult for students to enter the public 10th grade, the school will direct them to another path. In orientation sessions, the teacher explains all the pros and cons of the options.

According to Ms. Nhung, if parents feel they are being manipulated or forced at these counseling sessions, they can completely complain to the authorities. The school and teachers involved will be held responsible for doing it in contravention of the policy.

However, Mr. Doan Tien Trung, Deputy Head of Education Department of Cau Giay district, said that there were also cases of misunderstanding between the school and parents during the counseling process. “Teachers’ way of communicating can cause misunderstandings, making parents and students feel they are being forced to learn the profession,” Trung said.

Some doubtful opinions, target level 25-30% of students are vocationally oriented which can create other pressures for schools, making not only poor students, but also good students get motivated. Mr. Trung confirmed that the schools were not subject to the allocation quota. The orientation must be based on the ability of each child, “cannot force good students to go to vocational training”. “This is a campaign to change the perception of parents and students, thereby making choices that are suitable for their ability and family conditions, not necessarily studying and taking the high school exam at all costs,” Mr. Trung said.

Because based on the capacity of each student, Mr. Trung said that the Department and the Department do not compare the rate of streamlining between schools. For example, Cau Giay Secondary School is a high-quality school in the district, with a high pass rate of gifted high schools and a lot of studying abroad, leading to very few students entering vocational schools.

Representatives of schools and the Department of Education said that besides preventing and mastering teachers from forcing students to transfer schools or skip the 10th grade exam, in the coming time, teachers will be trained in communication skills. Counseling for parents and students.

Thanh Hang – Duong Tam

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