More and more students take part in science and technology contests for schools.(Photo: VNA)
 
HCM City (VNS/VNA) - National science contests for school students are attracting more and more competitors every year, according to the Ministry of Education and Training’s Secondary Education Department.

This year, 481 projects by school students have joined in the National Science and Technology Contest, 3.4 times higher than the number entered in the contest’s first year, 2011-2012.

The figure was reported by Dr Vu Dinh Chuan, the department’s head, at a conference on scientific research by high school students in the south on March 17.

The science contests are held to develop students’ capacity and knowledge through doing research, he said.

Besides, entries are becoming more and more practical-oriented compared to the early years, according to the department.

Last year for instance, students from HCM City’s Le Hong Phong High School for Gifted Students and Marie Curie High School won four first prizes, and their projects included a device to monitor the heart of senior people at home against the risk of heart attacks, glasses for people with visual impairment that can analyse text and convert them into speech and prosthetic arms.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Huy Hoang of the Hanoi National University of Education said scientific research inspires students to use academic knowledge to solve real-life problems and take the initiative to learn.

This is a new method that seeks to reform high school training programmes and methodologies, he said.

Instructions from teachers to guide students with their research are very important, he added.

However, many teachers lack the capacity to guide their students, he admitted, adding that research in English is also limited.

The ministry’s board for developing new high school training programmes has suggested the ministry should organise science and technology contests for teachers because when they do so they garner the experience required to guide their students.

According to an official from the Soc Trang province’s Department of Education and Training, funds for doing research is limited at high schools.

The ministry’s secondary education department will recommend the issuance of preferential policies to encourage teachers and students to do research.

The ministry should encourage local education and science departments, associations and enterprises to commercialise researches that win prizes in contests.

Speaking at the launch of the National science and Technology Contest this year, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc said the creativity of Vietnam’s students is underlined by the prizes they win in regional and international contests every year.-VNS/VNA