Teachers in HCM City “unchained”

VietNamNet Bridge – General school teachers in HCM City are now breathing a sigh of relief, as city authorities have given their consent to teachers giving private lessons without needing to obtain permission.

Teachers, HCMC

Under current regulations, stipulated in the Ministry of Education and Training’s (MOET) Circular No 17 of 2012, teachers must get permission from school leadership to organize afterschool classes on school premises.

More onerously, if teachers want to conduct private tutoring lessons outside the schools, they must ask permission from local authorities or appropriate agencies.

The regulation was set up with the aim to create a barrier to private tutoring activities that were believed to create heavy burdens on general schools.

On education forums, parents complained that students nowadays don’t have time to play and relax because they are forced to go to extra classes after school hours. The classes are run by the teachers at the schools the children attend.

According to the parents, the extra classes are run just to help teachers earn extra money. They do not, the parents claim, help the students improve their knowledge.

However, children cannot refuse to attend the extra classes, because the teachers would deliberately give them bad marks if they don’t.

The regulations have stirred controversy since they came out, and faced strong opposition from many parents who do really want to send their children to private tutoring classes. Teachers, who are generally low-paid and depend on extra lessons to improve their incomes, were also upset by the new restrictions.

Le Thanh Long, a teacher of the Ly Tu Trong High School in Tan Binh District, said teachers who give extra lessons were being treated as “criminals”. Fines were imposed on them, and they were forced to stop teaching if they could not show tutoring licenses.

However, the HCM City authorities have decided, as of June 16, that general school teachers may indeed offer private tutoring without having to ask for permission.

Only teachers who organize extra classes per the requests of students’ parents now need to report their tutoring to the heads of the schools where they work, and to the local authorities.

Ho Thieu Hung, former Director of the HCM City Education and Training Department, said he “struggled” for the teachers’ right to give private lessons. “No one can prohibit workers from taking extra works to have additional income. It is legitimate for someone to get extra income with his job,” Hung said.

Meanwhile, Long from Ly Tu Throng High School affirmed that when teachers provide extra lessons, they can meet the demands of many students and their parents and help students improve their knowledge.“Teachers deserve every dong they receive for their hard work and intelligence,” he said.

Nguyen Thi Thu Cuc, Headmaster of the Gia Dinh High School in Binh Thanh District, said the city authorities have made the right decision, as this not only gives teachers more opportunities to earn money with their legitimate work, but also helps improve teaching and learning in the city.

Le Huyen

Teachers, HCMC