Survey offers insider view of teaching

VietNamNet Bridge
Dec. 28th, 2009

The survey on social welfare for the sake of social progress and justice headed by Dr Tran Huu Quang demonstrated a lot of difficulties that general school teachers are facing.

In principle, teachers must do research and teach students in accordance with set curriculums. Quang’s survey showed that teachers nowadays have much more work that has no relation to the profession.

For example, they have to care for books, join activities of organisations and sometimes collect money from students or clean classrooms. Since teachers have so many extra tasks, they have no time to improve their professional skills

When asked about time, 73.9 percent of teachers said that non-teaching work account for much of their time, while only 26.1 percent said they do not have to spend much time on non-teaching duties.

Regarding the teaching curricula, 65.1 percent of teachers argue that the teaching load is too heavy, while only 0.8 percent said the teaching volume is “light” and another 34.1 percent thought it is reasonable. As for textbooks, only 23.7 percent of teachers responded that the textbooks were easy for teachers to use.

Since teachers spend time on other work, they do not have time to act as counselors or “guides” for students. Only 35.7 percent of teachers said that their students turn to them for advice with difficulties in learning or in life.

The survey has pointed out that “achievement disease” has worsened the quality of education. “Achievement disease’ is the word used to criticize those who try to obtain achievements at any cost.

Eighty percent of teachers said that “achievement disease” places heavy pressure on teachers and students, while only eight percent disagree.

Is it necessary to remove the target levels set in schools? 63.7 percent of teachers say that it is necessary to remove targets numbers of excellent or good students. 66.7 percent of teachers said that the figures about excellent and good students now do not reflect the real capability of students.

In many cases, teachers deliberately “help” students become excellent because they would be proud of having many good students. 30.9 percent of students believe that teachers now give students higher marks than they deserve.

78.2 percent of polled teachers said that the majority of students do not respect teachers as they did in the past, while nearly 60 percent of polled teachers said that teachers are not respected by society nowadays as in earlier times. 72.4 percent of teachers also maintain that teachers today experience unjust assessments.