|Quoc Hoc students take pride in the school's studious tradition
It took 40 years of waiting for math to regain the first prize at the National Excellent Student Contest. The achievements of student Tu Cong Thanh, grade 12 math 1 at Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted, got many people to hope for the "revival" of math. In the team at the national contest in the 2022 - 2023 school year, the math team had 6 students, and 100% won prizes, Thanh's first prize included. This was the third year that math had become the most "powerful" subject in the National Excellent Student Contest: Thua Thien Hue students gained high achievements.
In the 2020 - 2021 school year, Thua Thien Hue boasted 5/6 students winning the national math awards. In the 2021 - 2022 school year, 100% (6 students) participating in the exam took the national math prizes, including 4 official prizes. Nguyen Minh Ngoc got a fairly high second prize score of 25 marks (missing 0.5 marks to qualify for the second round to join the International Olympiad team).
"Bricks cannot be made without straw". The hopes were pinned on mathematics when this subject used to be the strength of Thua Thien Hue, where there was a senior high school with the earliest specialized education system in the South after liberation. At that time, when mentioning Quoc Hoc, many generations of students were proud of math.
Only within 7 years (1978 - 1983) did Quoc Hoc students bring home 5 international math medals. These included Ho Dinh Duan (bronze in 1978), Le Ba Khanh Trinh (gold and special prize in 1979), Ngo Phu Thanh, Nguyen Van Luong (silver in 1983), and Hoang Ngoc Chien (bronze in 1983), not to mention Le Tu Quoc Thang (gold in 1982) also coming from Quoc Hoc.
| Provincial leaders praised and rewarded the students for winning high prizes in the Olympiads
There remains a big gap for Nguyen Minh Ngoc or Tu Cong Thanh to reach the heights of previous generations, but it is also a good sign of the future revival of math in the spearhead education of Thua Thien Hue. Besides, after 7 years of absence, Nguyen Minh Triet, an 11th-grade physics student at Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted, brilliantly brought the Olympia video conference to Hue.
While math still has to wait to regain its old glory, in spearhead education, Thua Thien Hue students continuously appeared on the list of international Olympiad award winners. Biology included Truong Dong Hung, Ho Viet Duc (golds in 2017, 2020), and Truong Van Quoc Dat (silver in 2022). Chemistry had Doan Quoc Hoai Nam (silver in 2014). Informatics had Le Hy Hoai Lam (bronze in 2017). Physics had Le Cong Minh Hieu (bronze at the 2019 Asia-Pacific Physics Olympiad). Nguyen Minh Tai Loc won a certificate of merit at the 2023 Asia-Pacific Physics Olympiad.
| Welcoming students back after the international Olympiad
In the same class as Le Cong Minh Hieu, there were twin brothers Tong Phuoc Thanh Binh and Tong Phuoc Thanh An. In the national contest for excellent senior high school student selection in the 2018-2019 school year, Thanh Binh won the first prize, and Thanh An the national second prize in physics. In the 2019-2020 school year, both brothers took the first prize. Binh scored 25.6 marks, ranked 2nd, and An scored 23.6, ranked 8th nationwide.
Alongside Le Cong Minh Hieu, the twins were selected for the 2nd round to join the International Olympiad team. Unfortunately, that school year, the Physics Olympiad was not held. If any, it would be the opportunity for Le Cong Minh Hieu and the twins to re-establish the achievements of their predecessor Ngo Ba Thanh and his friends.
In 2016 - 2021, Thua Thien Hue boasted 309 students winning the national excellent student awards including 14 first prizes, 86 second prizes, 100 third prizes, and 109 consolation prizes. The number of first prizes got by Thua Thien Hue students averaged 1.3 times as much as that of the first prizes of the country.
Most outstandingly, in the past 6 years, the physics team won 5 first prizes, the biology team 3 first prizes, and the chemistry, information technology, and English teams 2 first prizes. In addition, some exam subjects that are not the strengths of Thua Thien Hue students such as literature, history, and geography are also witnessing gradual improvements and strong changes.
Gift and passion
Starting from the 10th grade, Tu Cong Thanh “was the target” for the math team at Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted. Teacher Hoang Phuoc Loi, homeroom teacher of math 1 grade 12 at Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted, said that the particularity of math requires patience, many calculations sometimes take 2-3 days, even weeks to solve. Unlike others, Thanh has the diligence and patience to solve math problems. He always carries his smartphone to... solve geometry. Thanh can learn math anytime, anywhere.
Talking about the method of learning mathematics to achieve good results, Nguyen Minh Ngoc said that he often studies in class in combination with self-study additional knowledge from reference books and documents on the Web. In fact, math reference books are plentiful, but in-depth books for students in preparation for national Olympiads are scarce. Teachers and students have to spend a lot of time finding book sources, especially foreign documents, to serve teaching and learning. According to Ngoc, the secret of good study is to find his own learning style. That is a logical combination of study and entertainment to relieve stress on himself.
Before each exam, Tong Phuoc Binh and Thanh An do not put too much emphasis on achievement goals but just see it as an experience. Tong Phuoc Thanh Binh said that after studying in class, he often searches for more documents and knowledge from many different sources. During study, he sets up a specific program and distributes proper study and entertainment time. When encountering difficult problems, the two brothers often discuss and solve them together. After each time like that, the two brothers will accumulate a lot of useful knowledge. Besides stressful study hours, the two brothers relax by playing sports and listening to music...
As for the secret to the highest achievements of the Vietnamese delegation at the International Biology Olympiad, Truong Van Quoc Dat said he just made a detailed plan and tried to finalize the set goals. To learn biology well, he first had to be passionate, from mastering basic knowledge right from class to being conscious of self-study and scientific self-research. Dat learns English well and finds specialized biological terms in English so he can read more books and look up more information on the internet. Biology is a multidisciplinary science, so if he wishes to be excellent at this subject, he needs to learn other subjects well. Dat studies biology with passion and knows how to balance study with entertainment and sports…, so he feels little pressure.