According to a recent survey, about 60 percent of students believe self-study plays a very important role in their university education, but only 16 percent of 300 surveyed students have “high” self-awareness in planning self-study. Only 2 percent ranked “very high”, while 76 percent rated “average”.
Normally, Trinh Dang Khoa, MA, from the HCM City Culture University, noted that with the new university education mechanism, the time for students’ self-study needs to be triple the time they spend at lectures.
In fact, the students need to prepare well before going to class: they need to understand theoretical issues, read the documents provided by lecturers, seek relevant knowledge and prepare for topics of discussions. They also have to do theoretical and home exercises, and carry out experiments and research.
However, according to Khoa, about 60 percent of students cannot meet the requirements. The proportions could be even higher, 70-80 percent, in some “special classes”.
“This explains why lecturers and students cannot interact during the lecture hours. Students cannot raise questions and do not have necessary understanding to discuss topics,” he said.
Khoa’s conclusion coincides with the comment made by Truong Minh Hoa from the HCM City External Economics Junior College, who said that students do not like going to the library, and they only go there when they need to prepare for semester-end exams or theses.
“What do students learn and what do they read during the years they spend at schools, if they do not go to the library, the ideal place for them to look for books and documents for their study and research?” he said.
Hoa said there is often “fearful silence” in lecture halls, when lecturers raise questions and no student voices an opinion. As a result, the lecturer raises questions and then gives the answers himself.
“Vietnamese students do not want to express their opinions or turn up before the public. This is the consequence of the passive learning method they experienced at general school,” Hoa noted.
“The ‘silence’ also shows that students’ knowledge is not good enough to answer the questions,” he added.
A lecturer of the Hanoi University also said that the majority of students remain passive in studying. They wait for lecturers to give knowledge, and don’t take the initiative to do study or research.
“As a result, they spend time at parties, accessing social networks and going out, instead of studying,” he commented.
“Honestly speaking, we are asking students to study themselves and prepare for lessons, but we are not examining whether they fulfill their duties,” he said.