VietNamNet Bridge – The second semester exams in sciences, history and geography of the students of the Luong The Vinh Primary School in district 7 of HCM City, was organized on May 3 and 4 in the… school yard--the thing which was never seen before.
Over 500 fourth and fifth graders of the primary school gathered on the school yard at 7am of May 4, with small seat cushions, plastics chairs and learning kits.
It was cool in the school yard where there were many trees. Teachers and child-minders led students to their positions, putting them in queue before the exam began. Some parents went together with their children to help the children obtain good seats in the shade of trees.
At 7.15 am, a teacher requested parents go out of the examination compound. After that, teachers delivered exam question papers to every student. Every student sat at their places, 1.5-2 meters far from each other.
The papers showed a lot of questions. Students just needed to tick their answers among the given suggestions, and then wrote down their names on the papers. As such, the students did not have to copy the exam questions from the black board and then write their answers – the way they usually followed in previous exams.
At 7.55 am, the history and geography exams finished. Exam papers were collected by teachers, while students returned to classrooms and began their lessons.
The strange way of organizing exams has raised controversy. Manh, a parent whose son is a fourth grader, said that he does not think this is a good idea. “The students have to sit under the sun and fulfill a hard work, which would badly affect their psychology and health. Meanwhile, it was really inconvenient for students to use chairs as the table,” he said.
Other parents also expressed their dissatisfaction about their children sitting in the open air.
Meanwhile, many other students applauded the initiative of the school. “It was cool on early morning. Therefore, it was better to sit in the open air and closer to the nature than in cramped classrooms,” Binh, a parent, said.
Ha Thanh Hai, the school’s headmaster, who has become famous with many new ideas on primary education renovation, said this was not for the first time the school organized exams outdoors. Students got familiar with the new way of attending exams from the first semester.
The Luong The Vinh primary school has relatively high number of students. There are some classes with 48 students in each. Therefore, it’s really a complicated problem to organize exams. When fourth graders attend exams, fifth graders would have to stay off from school to give more classrooms.
“Our main goal is to help all students get more self-confident, create opportunities for them to practice necessary skills and set up strict discipline for exams,” Hai said.
“The exam marks are not the most important things. It’s more important that the new method of organizing exams would help prevent exam cheating,” Hai added.
Educators have also agreed that the new way of organizing exams would ensure the fairness for students, and they would get the marks which truly reflect their ability. It happens that many students always get good marks of 9 and 10 at classes, but they get bad results from important exams.
Le Ngoc Diep, Head of the Primary Education Division of the HCM City Education and Training Department, said the department encourages schools renovate the teaching the examining methods, provided that the new methods can bring good results, satisfy the set standards and ensure the good health for students.
Diep also said that any ideas, which suggest the new methods which do not follow familiar ways, would raise controversy. Meanwhile, the headmasters who are always remaining in a rut would be “safe.”