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Errors Abound in Vietnamese Textbooks

Vietnamese parents are once again up in arms about their children’s education in what looks like yet another example of inconsistency and lack of attention to detail that so many have sadly come to expect.

This time parents are concerned about the publication of a new text book, “Vietnamese Language for first graders”, published by the Vietnam Education Publishing House, part of the Ministry of Education and Training, which has been found to be full of basic mistakes, inconsistencies and inaccuracies.

Educators agree that text books for first and second graders need to be clearly written and understandable for students of this age, yet the authors are accused of using words way beyond the level of intended readers.

Parents are also complaining that there are a lot of mistakes relating to the writing style in small or capital letters. “Even parents have to think about the word to understand its meaning, let alone the small students aged 6,” complained one irate mother.

On page 81, the word “Chao Mao” (red whiskered bulbul) was written in capitals, but on page 85, the word “Tu hu” (koel) was written in small capitals, though both “Chao Mao” and “Tu Hu” are the names of birds. On page 89, one can see the word “Sao Sau” (black necked grackle) in capital letters, but “chau chau” (grasshopper) and “cao cao” (green grasshopper) in small letters.

Yet more parents are asking if their children really need to learn about the red whiskered bulbul and black necked grackle at such a young age. Surely there are more important things for first and second grade students to be learning. Ngo Ba, the father of a second grader, said he is so surprised with the knowledge provided in the reference book “Let’s learn Vietnamese” of the Hanoi Publishing House.

Another un-named history book for sixth graders is also coming under fire from parents for the many inaccuracies it contains. Errors have been repeatedly pointed out to the publishers but they refuse corrections in reprints.

Professor Vu Minh Giang, Deputy Chair of the Vietnam History Science Association, complained that the association’s opinions about the mistakes have been ignored. He has called on people to raise their voice, asking the publishing houses to correct their mistakes, or Vietnamese students continue receiving wrong knowledge.

[Vietnam Net // Photo via Mullenkedheim

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