Vietnamese mum sparks online debate over child’s mathematics test

A Vietnamese mother sparked a debate online after she questioned the marking of her child’s primary school mathematics test. Her child had answered 5 + 0 = 5 and 6 + 0 = 6, both of which she believed to be correct. However, to her surprise, they were marked as incorrect by the teacher.

The mother shared her concerns and sought advice from a parents’ group. Her post generated a wave of empathy and confusion as many could not understand why the student’s answers were marked as wrong. The teacher’s corrected version, 3+2=5, was indeed accurate but so were the student’s calculations. This left the parents perplexed as to why the student was not awarded marks.

However, a closer inspection of the problem by some parents revealed a probable intention behind the question. It was believed that the lesson was designed to instill logical reasoning skills in the students before they penned down their answers.

The examination paper shared by the mother used shapes to represent numerical values. The same shape should represent the same number, rather than arbitrarily assigning numbers to shapes for the sake of obtaining a correct sum. The shapes in the image also needed to be considered.

In the first calculation, the child had substituted square + square = 6 with 3+3=6, implying that a square represented the number 3. In the following question, circle + circle = 8 was substituted with 4+4=8, implying that a circle represented the number 4.

The contentious question was square + triangle = 5. According to the previously established logic, the calculation should have been substituted as 3+?=5 to find the numerical value of the triangle, which was 2. Consequently, 3+2=5 was the correct answer.

The story sparked considerable discussion online on the web, on the importance of logical reasoning in mathematics, beyond just basic arithmetic, serving as a reminder to parents of the evolving nature of education and the increasing emphasis on logical and critical thinking skills.

Thailand News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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