History teaching needs more investment: historian

The information that history would be an optional subject in the senior high school curriculum as from 2022 has drawn special public concern.
History teaching needs more investment: historian ảnh 1A history class of senior high school students (Photo: laodong.vn)
Hanoi (VNA) – The information that history would be an optional subject in the senior high school curriculum as from 2022 has drawn special public concern.

Duong Trung Quoc, Vice President and Secretary General of the Vietnam Association of Historical Sciences, said the issue has been long debated, notably the discussion at the National Assembly’s session in November 2015.

This is the first time a school subject has been tabled for discussion at the legislature, the historian stressed.

Vietnamese people are well aware of the significance of the subject that not only provides them with knowledge but also reflects characteristics, will and traditional values of the nation, he said, noting that the problem lies with how to promote it at school.

Quoc held that the plan sketched out by the Ministry of Education and Training is associated with the fact that career orientation has yet to be conducted at the national educational sector.

The career orientation in preparation for systematic and methodical training will greatly affect personnel resources, given the increasingly high demand at present, he further explained.

The historian said the new curriculum is reasonable and matches global education trends, adding that the subject should be mandatory in the first nine years and optional in the remaining years in the 12-grade course.
However, Quoc emphasised, there still remain complex issues.

Some said the decision will scrap the subject in the curricular, which the historian said is true in some aspects as there have no significance changes in the teaching and learning of history so far.

Although history has been introduced at school in the first nine academic years, students have just learnt it by heart and crammed, he continued.

Quoc said the method is wrong as it has turned history into the memorisation of facts, which is not important in history, especially in the present context of open data.

The remaining three years see children’s greatest maturity at school in terms of physical growth, mindset and awareness, during which they should be educated about citizen awareness, national patriotism and traditional ethics.

In the period, students can easily absorb history knowledge if there are suitable teaching methods, Quoc said.

“However, in fact, we have yet to prepare a foundation good enough for students to love the subject and, in the new context, they have the right to skip it,” he said. “We should support the access to modern education textbooks, including sector division.”
History teaching needs more investment: historian ảnh 2An outdoor history class (Photo: qdnd.vn)
The historian also pointed out another fact that the programme would make the subject gradually disappear in the school curricular as fewer students have selected it and teachers are struggling to find students who are passionate about learning history.

Quoc suggested the educational sector invest more in history teaching, not only in finance but also teaching methodology and access mindset.

History is the subject that helps people be aware of the past and draw lessons for the present, but not the memorisation of the past, he emphasised.

Therefore, apart from giving explanations to the public, the sector should persuade them to accept the transitional period by setting out roadmaps for the reform, the historian suggested.

He said that criticism and democracy would be the best history learning method./.

See more