First grade teachers are ‘exhausted’ by new textbooks

First grade teachers are 'exhausted' by new textbooks 4

Nearly a month after the opening of school, Ms. Hanh (30 years old, teacher at a school in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City) clearly felt that the new textbooks, especially the Vietnamese subject, had a lot more knowledge than the old curriculum.

In the old textbook program, every day with 2 Vietnamese classes, students learn 2 sounds and 4-5 simple words, one short sentence.

In the first weeks, students often confuse the letters d with e, e with ê, o and oh… because they don’t have much time to memorize, and teachers don’t have enough time to correct mistakes.

In addition to the fact that the new books have a heavier amount of knowledge, Ms. Hanh also faces pressure from large class sizes and uneven student levels.

Vietnamese books of the book series Connecting knowledge to life.

Similarly, in Gia Lai, Ms. Lan (45 years old, elementary school teacher) said that the pace of the book series Connecting knowledge with life is quite fast, making both she and her students have to work hard to keep up.

`The books are almost designed for students to be literate first. It is very difficult for children who are not literate to keep up with the program. If the students are weak, the teacher is also tired. Teaching the children according to the program is already difficult, tutoring them step by step.

Meanwhile, the professional vice principal of an elementary school in Ho Chi Minh City said that the new textbooks are `a bit heavy for teachers` for two reasons: the lesson pace is fast compared to a first grade student and teachers are still confused.

According to her, most children have been introduced to letters and counting within 10 at the preschool level.

However, the advantage of the new general education program is that textbooks are no longer `ordinances` but are only the main source of materials for teaching.

`The new school year has started a month ago, the machine is already running, books or programs cannot be changed, so teachers have to be proactive and creative to fix it,` she said.

First grade teachers are 'exhausted' by new textbooks

First grade students at Dinh Tien Hoang Primary School, District 1 in the first lesson of the 2020-2021 school year.

Carefully studying the newly issued first grade textbooks, Mr. Le Ngoc Diep (former Head of Primary Education Department, Department of Education and Training of Ho Chi Minh City) said that it takes a longer time to evaluate the curriculum.

Mr. Diep analyzed that with the old curriculum and textbooks, teachers’ lesson plans over the years have not changed much.

`When driving an old motorbike that has been used for a long time, people know clearly every operation with it to control it smoothly. While with a new motorbike, it takes a while to get this feeling. It’s similar.

According to Mr. Diep, teachers need to be calm and persistent with weak children, because the more pressure they put on, the more depressed and afraid they become to learn.

First grade teachers are 'exhausted' by new textbooks

Content of lesson 2 of Vietnamese book, Kite book series.

At the third quarter regular press conference on the afternoon of September 30 of the Ministry of Education and Training, Mr. Thai Van Tai (Director of Primary Education) said that the new program has regulations on output standards and the time frame of the school year.

In Vietnamese, the learning outcomes clearly state how many words a student must be able to read per minute and how reading and writing should be performed.

Compared to the old Grade 1 program, the content of the new Vietnamese program is somewhat more streamlined but the duration is longer, increasing from 350 to 420 lessons.

However, the new program is adjusted based on the viewpoint of trying to help students read and write fluently as soon as possible and see it as a condition for learning other subjects.

Mr. Tai said that if you compare last year’s first grade and this year’s, it would be easy to judge the new program harshly, but in reality that is not the case.

Manh Tung

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