It is not good for children to be taught early mental and super-quick maths programmes before they’re able to recognise numbers, said an official from the Hanoi Department of Education and Training.
Pham Xuan Tien, Head of the department’s Primary Education Board, said this method is neither new in Vietnam nor in many other countries. In reality, this method is very good for children’s intelligence development if it’s used properly.
“However, not all students can understand and absorb it. They need to know all the numbers and calculation methods before they use an abacus. Parents need to clearly understand their children’s ability before they can select suitable courses; these choices should not be based on advertisements or other irrelevant factors because wrong choices put unnecessary pressure on the children,” Tien added.
According to the official, pre-school students should not sit for hours doing mental calculations. They can play and count cubes or arrange cubes based on examples.
Regarding the issue of parents complaining about their children’s complicated maths questions, Tien said, the local education and training sector has requested teachers to first teach standard knowledge to their students. Teachers are not allowed to give homework to students who have to attend both study-shifts every day.
During school hours, after finishing the standard programmes, teachers can give students one or two exercises for developing their thinking ability. However, the exercises must be equal to their ability, not a challenge to them.
He emphasised that if any teacher was found giving very complicated exercises to students and putting them under unnecessary pressure, he/she would face warnings from the local Department of Education and Training.
He also admitted that some online exercises were too complicated, which demonstrated teachers’ carelessness.
“Parents should spend more time with their children, explaining life skills to them and preparing them for future responsibilities, like supporting a family,” Tien suggested.
Attracted by the sales pitches of some maths centres, which claim they’ll turn their children into prodigies, parents in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are scrambling to enroll their kids in these mental math courses.
However, many parents complain that the math questions are too difficult for primary school students, and though the parents can find the answers, they cannot explain to the children, how they did it.
A lot of parents have “cried for help” at education forums. They present the contents of the math questions at the forums and ask for help from other parents in solving the problems. It seems that some questions have been asked with the aim of uniting the parents to help each other solve questions designed for primary school students.
Source: Education News