The pressure is real, and it is heavy

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I'm also a student from a high school for the gifted who didn't do well in the latest university entrance exams, so I understand what pressures there are. When the exams ended, I felt sad and empty, because if I failed, I would be listed among the 2-3 percent of my school's students who didn't pass the exams.

The pressure at school is heavy. While we were studying for the exams, our teachers would remind us: "The proportion of students passing university entrance exams... is very high, and we have to preserve that achievement."

Sometimes they said: "Our school's pass rate last year was 97 percent. Who will fall into the other 3 percent this year?"

I wonder how I can go back to school and how I can face my teachers and friends, considering I am part of the school's shame now. I didn't create the pressure by myself; the pressure is real and comes from my school.

Uyen Thi (cute_angel1102@....)

Students' suicides are sounding an alarm to parents. Many parents are forcing their children to study too much. As some parents were not able to receive higher education when they were young due to financial problems, they now want the kids to get it by all means so their lives will be better.

Vietnamese society, meanwhile, considers it a matter of prestige to enter a university, making students study hard to perform well and enjoy that prestige.

The pressures are even heavier for good students who are their families' pride and have their own pride. Therefore, when they don't do well in the exams, they lose that pride and feel scared of their own family and those around them, and finally kill themselves.

I hope parents can "wake up" after Sy's case. Don't create expectations that are too high and place too much pressure on children. Instead, let them study and choose careers in accordance with their own capacities.

Professor Vu Gia Hien (psychologist)

Every parent and teacher insists that it's a shame that a student from a gifted class or gifted school can't pass the university entrance exams. They demand the student pass the exams to prestigious schools with high scores.

I was a student who majored in biology from a famous school in Ho Chi Minh City. Everybody around me, including my parents, friends, relatives and even neighbors, always believed that a biology major must enter a medical university.

Last year I failed the entrance exams to HCMC University of Medicine and Pharmacy, but managed to enter the HCMC University of Economics. Still, everyone looked down on me. A neighbor even told me plainly: "As a biology major, you couldn't even enter a medical school."

Mai Chi (kinochip@...)

Pressure from schools and society, combined with very high expectations from families and students themselves are unavoidable for a student with a good (academic) performance or a student from a school for the gifted. If that student fails the university entrance exams, he or she must have a really strong will to overcome their relatives' disappointed look, the community's bad comments, and their own bitter disappointment.

We say entering a university is not the only way for students. But society still attaches great importance to a person's certificates. And, students who perform well still believe university entrance exams are a measure of their capacity, and passing it is their only target.

Hong Hanh (hoahanhdo@...)

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