The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has asked the local authorities of five cities and provinces, including Hanoi, Nam Dinh, Dien Bien, Thua Thien-Hue and Lam Dong to implement the pilot program on developing self-modified teaching aids. However, doubts have been raised about the feasibility of the program.
Making teaching aids themselves is the solution
MOET said that since the supply of teaching aids and the budget remain limited, teachers and schools need to make, repair and upgrade teaching aids themselves. This allows saving money and avoiding the waste of teaching aids, because teachers and schools prove to be the people who most understand what is needed for the teaching.
In fact, a lot of teachers have made teaching aids themselves already. They have created the software simulating biology, physics and chemistry experiments. The movement of making teaching aids has been called in many localities.
However, MOET has admitted that problems still exist, especially when there has been no proper mechanism for the movement. MOET’s Deputy Minister Nguyen Vinh Hien said that there has been no mechanism that supports the material purchases.
Schools and teachers themselves still have to pay their own money to buy materials to make teaching aids. Meanwhile, the income of teachers remains modest. Especially, there are many teachers who only get pay from schools under labor contracts, not the money from the state budget, because the minimum spending estimates of the province are only enough for regular expenses.
At primary schools, self-modified teaching aids mostly serve the teaching and learning of some subjects (mathematics, science, history and geography), or the teaching of some chapters of the subjects. Meanwhile, no thorough research work has been made in a pedagogical and scientific way about the need of self-modified teaching aids.
Secondary and high schools have a lot of teaching aids. However, the bad management has made them unhelpful to the teaching and learning.
Difficulties come from all sides
MOET has decided to pour 130 billion dong to the self-modified teaching aid development program which would be disbursed until the end of 2012.
Hien has emphasized that the self-modified teaching aids must ensure their quality and efficiency so as to help ease the state budget’s spending. Hien also said that making teaching aids should be seen as the duties of teachers and management agencies in an effort to renovate teaching method.
However, educators have foreseen a lot of difficulties in implementing the program. Deputy Director of the Nam Dinh provincial Education and Training Department said that the province needs the support from the “central budget.”
Truong Dinh Chien from the Lam Dong provincial education and training department has warned that with the limited workforce, it would be not easy to implement the program on self-modified teaching aid development. Secondary and high schools in the locality do not have storehouses, laboratories and function rooms to contain teaching aids.
Especially, they lack the officers in charge of the teaching aid management. At present, the management work has been assigned to teachers of schools. However, since the teachers do not get allowances for the job, the teaching aids cannot bring the desired efficiency.
In the past, MOET many times urged teachers to make teaching aids themselves to upgrade the teaching method. However, teachers replied that they did not have the time to spend on making teaching aids, while there were no funds available to buy materials.