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Nowadays, education is a popular problem which is cared all over the world. Especially in Vietnam, this issue becomes greatly serious because the quality of student is decreasing in alarming level. In fact, there are already enough reasons to worry about it. According to the education development index (EDI) was published by UNESCO in 2008, Vietnam stood at 79th out of 129 countries. This figure fell off 9 levels in contrast with the year of 2004 although government had increasingly invested to education annually. The consequence makes us surprised about the quality of education foundation. However, solving this problem is time-consuming process and it demands a well-knowledge on many aspects. Therefore, with the purpose of improving education quality, this paper discusses the questions of what situation of Vietnamese students is these day, why this matter becomes worse and what have been done to solve this serious problem.
Discussion of findings
What is situation of education's quality in Vietnamese school?
In the period of promoting industrialization, modernization and international integration, human resources of Vietnam are becoming more important, decide the development of the country. Education plays an important role and task in the construction of a new generation of Vietnamese people, meets the requirements of social and economic development. Dedication to the education is really necessary because it provides the professionally qualified staffs, trains new employees needed in a modern business society. According to Vietnamese Education Development Strategy 2009- 2020, currently, educational scopes and networks are increasing and meet better training needs of the society; moreover, the educational quality at all training levels is improving and the management of educational quality has paid more attention nowadays.
Apart from some achievements, however, the education foundation in Vietnam has still a lot of limitations having to face these days. First of all, the approach of the national education system are not synchronized, the shortage of continuity between levels of education and training qualifications, including vocational education has not received due attention. Therefore, it is more embarrassed to organize themes in the education system. In addition, the imbalance between the level and the structure of training slowly overcome so does not require the development demands of the society.
Secondly, although the contents and courses of education from pre-school to high school has been changed and renewed, it also reveals many weaknesses. The educational program is not appropriate to students' ability, too many theories without practicing, not associated with social requirements. There is an imbalance between the socio-economic and the education structure, between the requirements of developing labor and the training structure, between training and utilization (Pham 1998, p.28). Furthermore, teaching method requires learners to memorize mechanically and they cannot promote critical thinking, creative thinking and self-learning in the school.
The next limitation is that teachers and educational managers do not satisfy the educational tasks in the new period; teaching method in schools is slowly innovative; quality of education is low leading to professional qualifications and a part of teachers do not meet the requirements to improve the quality. In 2007 there are still 11% of the classes in the state of temporary classrooms, dilapidated classrooms, especially in remote areas; libraries, laboratories, classrooms, departments and teaching facilities lacking and outdated, especially in universities.
Why do the students study more badly?
Despite some achievement, the education of our country has still a lot of limitations: weak quality; unbalanced structure; low effectiveness; the education is not synchronized strongly with practice; the training is irrelevant to employment; teaching staff is still feeble, infrastructure is insufficient, the renovation of learning programs, teaching manuals, ways of delivery and management is created slowly; some negative extraordinariness and disorders are overcome sluggishly.
Current Situation of Vietnamese Education noted that the reason is passive teaching method. Most of teachers in Vietnam apply the backward and traditional teaching methods in which the instructor is the primary speaker and the student is the primary listener. This method causes boredom in learners and leads to a passive study tendency. In order to make effective changes in such an ancient teaching method, Vietnam should provide a "revolutionary" pedagogy in universities in which future teachers are cultivated and guarantee that they apply these more active approaches to their pupils once they carry on teaching in the classroom. On the one hand, teachers also suffer from high pressure to rigorously follow the curricula of government by the Ministry of Training and Education, which are heavy and out of date. This curriculum limits the capabilities of teachers and narrows teaching competences and effectiveness. Moreover, the large class sizes in schools are also the reason of creating challenges for teachers who are searching for new and modern teaching methods to apply in the classroom. A lot of activities such as team work, movement games, and outdoor activities are more creative methods of teaching, but may be influenced by the scope of the class.
Another point is most Vietnamese schools do not have enough qualified laboratories, libraries, and playgrounds for pupils. With the contribution of a great number of industry sectors and the financial investment from society as a whole, the infrastructure in school has been improved day to day, but it is still not sufficient to crucial change enrollment and the learners' requirements, especially in the mountainous, remote and isolated areas of our country. When schools develop their facilities and infrastructure, they have better ability to support their students learning and studying. In addition, reducing class size is another point that schools are making to decline the pressure of teachers. "About 80% of current teachers meet with innovative teaching methods, implementation of innovative teaching methods at present, the most concerned problem is not a team that is ... facilities, equipment!", Deputy Director in charge of a provincial professional education confirmed in a report of vietbao.vn (11 June, 2005).
What should be done to solve this matter?
In my opinion, to resolve the difficulties step by step, a few new approaches to education should be required in the first place, below are three main points.
First, the government should renovate curricula, textbooks and teaching materials and improve school's infrastructure. A study of education (Ministry of education and training 2001) suggested drawing expenditure from State budget to provide investments to build some high quality educations and training institutions, support the implementation of lower secondary education universalization and assist difficult localities and people.
Second, it should be trained, upgraded teaching staff and educational managers. In the report of Teaching styles and pupil progress written by Neville Bennett with Joy Jordan, George Long, Barbara Wade (foreword by Jerome Bruner) of Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts (1976), the authors shown three headings: systematic observation, experimental studies and comparative survey studies for teaching styles.
The last but not least, supporting education in mountainous or disadvantage areas, ethnic minority and disadvantage students should be implemented to eradicate the literacy rate and simultaneously increasing inclusive education for handicap children. According to baoquangninh.com, because the proportion of ethnic minorities account for 11 percent of the total population, mainly associated with agriculture economy, life difficulties should have caused no small obstacle to the development of education. Determining this difficulty, the education sector has actively developed and coordinated with the sector to implement more effective programs and support educational activities in mountainous and ethnic minority groups and areas with a lot of difficulties.
From all the findings above, it is clear that low quality of education in Vietnam is still a big problem. Students - the future owners of our country - is now more and more becoming passive and less dynamic in their work and life. Causing this consequence is responsibilities to education foundation; therefore, to solve this matter requires the government's concentration to population and the financial demands to improve the best learning infrastructure for students. Then, hopefully, with some solutions for education problem, the quality of learners in Vietnam will be improved and developed soon.
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Neville B. with Joy J., George L., Barbara W. (foreword by Jerome B.) "Teaching styles and pupil progress", Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts (1976, p.11)
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