Teacher and retention recruitment crisis
Despite the order to cut staff, state schools still face teacher redundancy problems as decisions are made by the departments of internal affairs instead of the education sector.
State schools face teacher redundancy problems
For the past five years, the Ministry of Education and Training have constantly emphasised the need to cut staff at schools. The ministry tried to deal with the problems by re-training teachers and sending them to nursery schools. But this has proved controversial.
Nguyen Kim Phung, director of the ministry's Higher Education Department, said the enrollment quota for teacher training in 2014 was 84,000. It was cut to 68,000 in 2016 and 54,000 in 2017 but Phung said the number was still too high.
According to Decision 732 issued by the prime minister about training teachers and managers for the 2016-2020 period with a view to 2025, Vietnam only needs 190,000 more teachers. However, the enrolment quota for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years are already 122,000.
Teacher quality was also in question as the entrance scores to many teacher training universities this year were extremely low.
Le Truong Tung, head of FPT University said forecasting human resources for teachers was much easier than in other sectors as they can have an accurate estimate of the number of students and teachers for each grade and subject.
"The Ministry of Education and Training asked universities to cut the enrolment quota every year but the implementation has not been effective," he said.
Tung suggested following India where a Bachelor of Education is a postgraduate course offered for those interested in pursuing a career in teaching.
Teacher training universities set an enrollment quota much higher than the major universities under the Ministry of Education and Training. However, the decisions about teachers are made by the local departments of internal affairs based on suggestions by schools, not the ministry.
One of the complaints is how teachers are assigned to teach subjects they are not specialised in to deal with shortages or redundancies. For example, if there are a lack of teachers for music and art, maths teachers may be assigned to teach those subjects.
Statistics from the Ministry of Education and Training show that Vietnam has about 1.1 million teachers. Primary schools alone employ 400,000 teachers.
Secondary and high schools face teacher shortages and redundancies depending on the subject and location. Thai Binh Province has 1,191 unemployed secondary teachers while Thanh Hoa has 2,188, Nghe An has 1,742 and Quang Nam has 1,096 unemployed teachers.
Meanwhile, nursery schools lack 33,000 teachers. Hanoi lacks 2,696 nursery teachers, Son La Province lacks 1,133 and Gia Lai Province lacks 1,196./.