High schools seek prestige by expelling low achievers
April. 12th, 2010
Many high schools seek prestige through possessing a high percentage of students who pass their final exams. They do this by expelling students who have lower academic skills and abilities.
High school final exams will take place in June 2010 and some schools are openly confident that 100 percent of their students will pass.
The schools have no weak students, because those who failed to meet expectations have been expelled.
According to Tuoi Tre, this “achievement disease” has prompted many schools to expel and refuse low-scoring students. All schools want their institutions to gain prestige for high achievement.
Many students have changed schools several times during their three years of high school. At the beginning of the second semester (January 2010), hundreds of 12th grade students were still searching for a place to study.
K.K, a former student of QVSG School, feels lucky that he found a new school. He told Tuoi Tre that at QVSG School the students’ parents make “agreements.” If students have only average learning abilities, they must leave for other schools or study in a special class, which costs double the normal level of tuition and a carries a much heavier course load.
“All these steps are necessary to ensure that the students will pass final exams, our parents were told,” K explained.
K’s mother decided to take him out of the school. In December 2009, K. was refused acceptance by many other schools, which claimed that they did not have enough time to prepare K for final exams.
Finally, K. was accepted at Huu Hau Private School, after some learning ability and psychological testing.
“Curriculums are different in different schools and I always have to make new friends. I feel worried because I have had to change schools so many times. I am very worried about final exams,” K. admitted.
He added that “A lot of my friends have also had to leave for other schools. Some friends have become so tired of learning that they decided to return to their home village to study at continuation schools or even drop out.”
Meanwhile, HD, a former private school student, described how after the 11th grade, the school’s management board gathered parents of students who had low grades and gave them two options.
They suggested that the students either attend other schools or they could stay, but their parents must promise that their children will achieve higher scores after the summer holiday. If students continued to score low or if they violated school regulations, they would be expelled.
“In fact, the so-called school’s regulations are very vague, and you will be expelled from school even when you make a minor infraction,” HD asserted
In a frank admission, the headmaster of a private school in HCM City told reporters that some 20 students have left this school year, because they have little chance of passing final exams.
“This aims to raise the percentage of students passing final exams to 100 percent this year from 95 percent last year,” he revealed. “In the next one or two years, the school will only enroll good students and we can say for sure that no student will fail the exams,” he added.
Meanwhile, other educators have protested that there must not be discriminatory treatment against students with lesser abilities.
Van Duc Kim, Headmaster of Hoang Dieu High School, argued that students who must change schools will be under hard pressure and will not be able to improve their grades. According to Kim, his high school has received 40 more students so far this second semester from other schools that made them unwelcome.