It turns out that some schools are so overcrowded that they have to go to school on Saturdays. This is especially true in the large cities.
The assistant researcher whom I’m working with, Viet, is a teacher so I asked him many questions about Vietnam’s schools. I thought you might enjoy some of these facts:
It is required that all children go to school up until grade 9. If they want to continue to go to school after grade 9 (age 14 and 15) their parents have to pay for it.
- Elementary students go to school from 7 am to 10 am. School ends, and most students go home for lunch, rest, play or work. They have to return to school the same day from 1:30-4:30 pm.
- In the country schools (rural—remember that word from earlier in the year), students go home for lunch—all children do (and they have to walk or parents have to pick them up—there are no busses). Lunch is not offered.
- In the city schools lunch is offered but if your family cannot afford to pay for your lunch you have to go home. There is no money to help poor families.
- Elementary teachers have classes of 30 to 40 students.
If a child misbehaves the teacher can strike him/her on the cheek, hit him/her with a ruler, or pinch the child’s ear. This is legal, normal, and expected.
So here are today’s questions. Pick one to copy, paste, and answer. Don’t forget your name.
1. Do you think that there are fewer behavior problems in Vietnamese schools than compared to United States schools, because of how teachers can punish students? Explain your answer.
2. In United States public schools, poor children can get free or cheaper school lunches. The taxes your parents pay help pay for this program. But in Vietnam poor kids go home for lunch. Which system do you think is better? Do you think it is fair that the taxes your parents have to pay go toward paying for poor kids’ lunches? Explain your answer.
3. In the United States, schooling is free until grade 12, when you hopefully graduate and get your high school diploma. What if we had a system like Vietnam’s, where only up until grade 9 is it free. How would this change our world? How would things be different in the United States? Explain your answer.
I can’t wait to read what you write. Today I had duck eggs for breakfast!