Vietnam Time

10/15/2018 10:29:03 AM

Local authorities complain about teacher shortage

According to a report posted on the Vietnam Net on October 15, twenty-seven cities/provinces have reported they lack teachers for the 2018-2019 academic year and want to employ new teachers.

27 cities/provinces have reported they lack teachers. (source: VNN)

According to the report, of these cities/provinces, Hai Duong has the highest demand. With the number of students increasing by 24,184 students this school year, it needs an additional 4,000 teachers.

Thai Binh province wants 3,600 teachers more for the same reason.

According to the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), general schools are allowed to recruit 34,242 official teachers for this school year, which means that schools still lack 75,730 teachers, including 43,732 for preschools, 18,953 for primary schools and 10,143 for secondary schools. 

Only two cities/provinces, Da Nang and Dong Nai, have enough teachers. 

Meanwhile, 21 cities/provinces face a serious shortage of teachers (1,000 teachers and more).

The most serious shortage is seen in Hanoi, which needs 12,681 more teachers. 

MOET also pointed out that because of the lack of official teachers, in some localities, schools hire teachers in a way which is not in line with current regulations. These include Krong Pak district in Dak Lak province, Thanh Oai in Hanoi, Ca Mau, Quang Ngai, Ha Tinh and other localities. 

MOET also pointed out that because of the lack of official teachers, in some localities, schools hire teachers in a way which is not in line with current regulations. These include Krong Pak district in Dak Lak province, Thanh Oai in Hanoi, Ca Mau, Quang Ngai, Ha Tinh and other localities. 

In many cities/provinces, schools employ teachers under short-term seasonal contracts and teachers are paid based on the number of teaching hours.

In a report published on October 8, DT News mentioned serious shortage of English teacher in Thanh Hoa province.

According to the parents in Cong Binh, Cong Chinh, Cong Liem and Yen My communes (Nong Cong district), English hasn't been taught at many schools for years. Many worry that their children will be behind other pupils, especially during the era of information and technology. 10 out of 11 those schools are national standard schools.

"We don't know what to do. We've reported to district authorities and asked for more English teachers every year but the responses remain the same, there's no quota left for the district," said Tran The Dinh, headmaster of Cong Binh Primary School.

Cong Binh Primary School hired an English teacher for the 2017-2018 school year and met the national standards but the teacher quit after it was recognised as a national standard school.

Vu Xuan Tin, deputy headmaster of Yen My Primary School, said many parents had come and expressed willingness to pay for English teachers but the problem is out their hands.

Statistics from the Department of Education and Training in Cong Nong District show that there are 67 English teachers for secondary schools. The district has 35 primary schools and 11 schools still lack English teachers.

The department head, Nguyen Van Binh, said, "It's because the workforce is being reduced so schools are not allowed to hire more teachers. We have to prioritise the secondary schools."

Binh admitted that they deliberately allowed schools to temporarily hire English teachers from other schools to be recognised as a national standard school. After filing reports multiple times, they were able to ask for nine more English teachers for the 2018-2019 school year.

According to Thanh Hoa Department of Education and Training, it lacked up to 258 English teachers during the 2017-2018 school year for schools in mountainous areas and several schools in the delta region.

Talking about the pressing issue of teacher shortage, MOET’s Minister Phung Xuan Nha said, there must be a stable policy so teachers can feel secure and comfortable with their professional work. 

Also according to Nha, preschools and primary schools are seriously lacking teachers because the number of official teachers has remained unchanged in the last three years.

Under the current laws, teachers are considered civil servants, who receive pay from the state budget. Therefore, the number of annually recruited teachers must be determined by the Ministry of Home Affairs, not MOET.

Education experts say that the scheme which considers teachers as civil servants is unfair for teachers. Newly graduated teachers can only get the lowest pay level in the salary scale applied to civil servants, even though they have high qualifications and fulfill their tasks well. 

The experts also warned that working conditions would be even more severe with the policy on streamlining state agencies.

Deputy chair of Ca Mau province Tran Hong Quan said if 10 percent of personnel is cut, the province would have to shut down one school a year. The local education sector has 18,000 civil servants.

According to Vice Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thi Nghia in an interview with the Vietnam News a few day prior to the new school year 2018-2019, shortage of teachers was caused by the increase of students which outpaces the increase of teachers, especially in urban areas and industrial and processing zones.

In recent years, the provincial-level education sectors had not been able to hire more permanent staff, as the entire Government sought to streamline payrolls.

Limitations in provinces’ planning and forecasting also led to the simultaneous shortages and surpluses of teachers, she said.

"The ministry alone cannot deal with this situation because the enrolment and management of educational staff numbers is authorised by the People’s Committee at all levels and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA),” Nghia said.

She said the ministry had requested the localities continuously review the local school systems to make appropriate arrangements in order to improve the condition.

“We suggest localities move teachers from the areas with slight shortage to the areas with serious shortages to overcome the situation,” she said.

According to Nghia, the Government has assigned MOHA to co-ordinate with other ministries and sectors, including the MOET to adjust staff numbers in line with the increase in population.

In order to meet the demand of teachers for the new school year, MOET also asked the Government to allow provinces which lack teachers to enroll more staff with short-term contracts, said Nghia./.

  ( VNF )
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