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Vietnam :

Shool year 2000-2001

A promising new school year in Ha Long

It was about time I told you about it !  You certainly saw the previous pages "Arrival in Ha Long", "My schools" et "The Hai Phong 6th A page" ; so I'll try not to repeat myself here.

So now I'm supervisor in Ha Long, with periodical missions to Hai Phong.  This year though, our "title" evolved from "Conseillers pédagogiques" to "Assistants pédagogiques".

A little hard to accept at first, but actually this should have been done a long time ago from a cultural point of view : in Vietnam, a "Co Van" (Counselor) is an old sage, wise !
So this title, used around the world, was locally unsuitable.

In Ha Long too, students have a gym session at every recess, but here it's Duc (one of our bilingual students) who plays the drum !

Besides that detail, my job stays mostly the same :

- Watching lessons taught by the French-speaking Vietnamese teachers and then help them to improve ;

- Animations in the classes ;

- Continued training of these teachers (mostly through the weekly meetings) ;

- Conception of teaching materials ;

- Helping the authorities to manage the program.

However I have a new responsibility :

Multimedia specialist

I was asked to test the use of the CAT (Computers Assisted Teaching) in the bilingual classes.

 But that objective has been quickly reviewed and downsized for numerous reasons : reduced French hours this year (no more time for extra-curricular activities in the schedule), no software adapted to the program, hardware over evaluated and installation difficulties, unpredictable power outages, etc.

A very good connection to the Internet with training to its use for research, documentation and communication through Email, with also some sessions with the students seemed a more reasonable objective to us.

A good ol' slate at 1000 dongs
would be better than a 15 millions PC ?

"Un oignon" is a very difficult word for our
young 4th grade bilingual students !

Pedagogical use of Internet

It isn't done yet...  The hardware has been given (computers, modems, programs...) but the schools delay to connect.

It's mostly an authorizations problem, which we try to solve.

Meetings, discussions, presentations...

Going back to the countryside, I took again the habit of


as the local representative (unofficial) of the French-speaking world and the partners in the bilingual classes program (APEFE, AUF...).


This situation reminds me something...
(here on teachers' day)

10th grade at Hon Gai high school

The work in the classes is the most important 

to m here in Ha Long, where I am the first full time pedagogical counselor -pardon, assistant !-.

This job of regular follow-up, remediation, animation and "pump-up" appeared as essential as soon as I arrived.  And I get a lot of help here, from the local authorities but also from motivated teachers !

It is not the easiest part of my job, since all used to work without outside help for a long time before I came.  Some changes are thus truly difficult to instigate...


So I have met

a lot of difficulties

since the beginning of the school year and sometimes I lose patience in front of the slowness with which we try to reach our goals, but otherwise

joys are even more numerous

at the sight of the first results, the evolution (sometimes incredible) of most of the students' (and teachers' of course) level and of the interest renewal for the bilingual teaching in Ha Long.


Would the French Community of Belgium
be a difficult subject ?

Yes, the C.F.B. is complicated !
So you'll not be surprised to learn that this year I became even more hermit than before !

Besides my job on the field, I got out very rarely.  Of course, there is the fact that to find a nice little restaurant (like "Van Song" in Bai Chay) I have to ride 30 minutes and take the ferry...

But it's more a question of work.  Motivating work, thus, that me and my colleagues continue to do (it should be said) despite a huge drop in our revenues and having survived a major crisis of the program in the heart of the A.U.F. last year...

That crisis

Should put the program on saner tracks.

On the field though, we see now that it almost cost us the whole program, and that it still poison us every day : parents do not trust it much anymore and many think the program will stop one of these days, despite all affirmations from the authorities.

These parents want to take their children out of the program, do not encourage them to work in French...  One can see where this can lead !


To work !

Communauté Française de Belgique...

What were they thinking up there ?

This program is excellent !

Just follow the -non scientific- following reason :

Bilingual classes work at 50% of their possibilities in term of quality, and already you can see that the results are excellent.

Therefore I ask myself : Why not stop playing and get involved, everybody ?

Fortunately, the consolidation (improvement of the quality) stage started, however timidly, in 2000 and we can see some getting involved more openly (M.E.F., French Embassy) while the AUF seems to have partially solved its money problems and that the APEFE supports the program a lot more than before already, notably with important materials offers.

Qui vivra verra...  Anyway, on the field,

Work continues

And in Ha Long I have again the pleasure of the diversity and the difficulty of the dispersion of the work at all levels :
from 1st to 12th grade ;
in French, mathematics, physics and biology.

BUT I will at last, following recently signed agreements, be able to work on one of our main goals since the beginning of this program, always delayed for the lack of possibilities :

The training of a local supervisor !

The Quang Ninh (my province) Service of Education indeed asked me to identify a candidate among the teachers and to train him/her next year so that he/she would continue my job when I will leave.

Les nombres relatifs : ouch !

Group work on hidden words

That's efficient cooperation !

I thus proposed (after a long work of evaluation) a candidate at the beginning of April 2001, who should be temporarily appointed soon, and for whom I am in charge of establishing a training plan for 2001-2002. 

This training program will of course include working together for a while in the classes and for the training of the teachers, while she would keep one class for her experience on the field.

OK.  What's next ?  Er...  Hey, I have no more inspiration ;) ?

Anyway, this page is very long already.  I'll keep the remaining pictures for a new page "Photos in the classes" and stop here for now.

You could also go see the new page "International 2001 French Speaking World Day" in Ha Long.

As a conclusion to this page,

let's just say that Ha Long bilingual classes,

it's a rewarding job :

we work a lot, but we see the results !

Page créée le 7 avril 2001 -  Mise à jour le 15 avril 2001

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