Education sector to reduce mounting pressure on students

Standardized tests force students to perform under extreme pressure and can lead to a host of mental issues. Students today face mounting pressure; therefore, Vietnam’s education sector has been trying to reduce such stress on students.


Education sector to reduce mounting pressure on students ảnh 1 Students in HCMC learn on the internet
At present, elementary, middle, and high schools in Ho Chi Minh City are preparing for the examination and assessment of students in the first half of the school year 2021-2022. Many forms of testing and assessment have been organized, aiming to reduce pressure and promote students’ self-discipline.
Ninth-grader Nguyen Ngoc Thao of Nguyen Gia Thieu Secondary School in Tan Binh District said that teachers of each subject have had a different form of testing and scoring.
In particular, teachers of physical education and arts required students to perform activities or make products themselves at home, then record videos and take photos of products to send to teachers.
However, students must take multi-choice tests for History, Geography, and English subjects during days of weeks to help students have a lot of time for preparation; therefore they do not feel pressured when taking mid-term exams and evaluations.
Meanwhile, Literature, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry teachers combine the mid-term tests and 15-minute tests in the previous weeks, helping to evaluate students’ academic performances more exactly.
Similarly, teacher Cao Duc Khoa, Principal of Huynh Khuong Ninh Secondary School in HCMC’s District 1 said that the mid-term tests will be done on the system LMS (one of the software management systems). In particular, the exam questions focus on the level of awareness and information, not yet applying the low level of application and the high level of application due to some limitations during the epidemic period. The exam schedule of subjects will be evenly distributed in the ninth, tenth and eleventh weeks according to the program of the Ministry of Education and Training.
Previously, groups of teachers had developed exam questions that combined both essay and multiple-choice forms. If a student has a problem with technology during the test time or is not satisfied with their first tests, they will be re-tested later.
"Test scores are calculated according to the final results of the test, so it will reduce testing pressure on students as well as indirectly prevent cheats in an online exam because students still have many opportunities to improve their scores," Khoa said.
With the aim to reduce testing pressure on students, managers of Lac Hong Secondary School in District 10 has arranged a schedule for the midterm exam according to groups of subjects. For instance, students sat for social subjects including Literature, History, Geography, Citizenship Education in a week while they then took natural subjects comprising of Math, Chemistry, Physics, Biology test a week later. This appropriate schedule aims not to create pressure on learners. In addition, teachers flexibly arranged suitable times for a test.
Particularly, teachers at Bui Thi Xuan High School in District 1 are currently building a bank of exam questions for the preparation of the midterm exam in the first semester which will take place in early November. In some schools, students have been doing mock exams before taking the official test.
Regarding cheating in online tests, most teachers said that they called on students’ honesty and responsibility towards their work. Besides, according to teacher Nguyen Thanh Phat, Principal of Lac Hong Secondary School in District 10, if a test is comprised of problems requiring students to learn by heart, its students will surey cheat by asking others’ assistance or googling it.
Conversely, if the test requires students’ understanding and their application of knowledge in a limited time, students will certainly focus on doing the test rather than managing to find the right to help.  Therefore, instead of looking for appropriate anti-cheating strategies, teachers need to change new content and forms of tests.
Agreeing with this, teacher Huynh Thanh Phu, Principal of Nguyen Du High School in District 10 said that while teaching, teachers feel the learning ability of students. Therefore, during online learning, the examination and assessment should not put much pressure on learners.
Nguyen Minh Thien Hoang, Deputy Head of the Primary Education Department under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training, said that according to the Ministry of Education and Training’s current regulations, students are assessed through regular assessment and mid-term assessment. In which, regular assessment is based on daily academic performance, the results of group work or teamwork. Therefore, the test is only one of the assessment bases, teachers do not use periodic test results to evaluate the entire learning process of a student.

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