A VNEN model for teaching and learning. (Source: baokhanhoa.com.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Education and Training has encouraged schools across the country to voluntarily continue applying the new model of learning and teaching, called the Vietnam Escuela Nueva (VNEN).

The recommendation was made after the ministry recognised shortcomings of the model in several localities.

VNEN was designed to make students more engaged in class with teachers serving as facilitators, and parents as well as other community members more involved in making learning relevant to children.

The VNEN project, worth about 84.6 million USD, funded by the Global Partnership for Education, was run in more than 2,300 primary schools and about 1,000 secondary schools between January 2013 and May 2016.

In a document sent to heads of localities nation-wide on August 18, Minister Phung Xuan Nha said although the model created a friendly education environment, it had shortcomings.

Nhạ said applying the model in schools with few teachers and poor infrastructure was ineffective.

Therefore, after the project ended, applying the model is made voluntary, he said.

Schools that have yet to apply the model are encouraged to use the model’s plus points in their teaching, he said.

Recently, several localities asked the ministry to suspend the application and multiplication of the teaching model.

Tran Ngoc Ha, head of Party Committee’s Popularisation-Instruction Department of Vung Tau City, said the city decided not to widely apply the model for the 2016-17 school year.

For schools using the model previously, this school year if parents and students do not wish to continue applying the model, schools are allowed to suspend it, he said.

The People’s Committee of northern mountainous Ha Giang Province directed its education sector not to use the model this year.

Vu Van Su, director of the Provincial Education and Training Department, said the model was suspended due to the unequal capability of teachers and inadequate infrastructure.

The Thoi bao kinh te Vietnam (Vietnam Economics Times) reported that an online forum named “We are primary teachers” of more 65,000 primary teachers throughout the country had given reasons to halt the model.

Under the model, a class was divided into groups with 3-4 students per group. A student will be assigned to lead the group; he or she will read textbooks following the teachers’ instructions and relay the content to other students.

Teachers, especially in big cities, often struggled to manage students using this method in large classes of 40-50 students. The model was, however, effective with hard-working students, the forum said.

Central Ha Tinh province had 129 of 267 schools running the model and recently proposed suspending it for same reasons as Ha Giang and Vung Tau.-VNA