HCM City lacks teachers of English for primary schools

VietNamNet Bridge – HCM City’s primary schools, which include three English teaching programs, are facing a shortage of teachers of English.

Vietnam, national program, MOET

Three programs are running concurrently in HCM City, including the program on teaching English as an optional subject, the intensive English teaching program and the national English teaching program until 2020.

According to Tran Minh Ngon, head of the District 4’s education sub-department, eight out of the 15 existing schools in the districts follow the national program, while three more plan to begin the program in the 2014-2015 period.

However, implementation would depend on English teachers’ recruitment.

Vo Ngoc Thu, head of the District 5’s education sub-department, said that as contracts with the English teachers from the Philippines had expired, the schools in the district now lack teachers for the intensive English teaching program.

Meanwhile, the national English teaching program by 2020 has not been implemented in the district yet. Under this program, the districts would need many more English teachers.

Nguyen Quang Vinh, head of the Primary Education Division of the HCM City Education and Training Department, admitted that the schools in the city have been suffering a shortage for many years.

It’s still unclear how many teachers the schools lack for the 2014-2015 period as schools are still looking for teachers, but Vinh is sure that the city will need to organize many recruitment campaigns to find enough teachers.

Luong The Vinh Primary School in district 1, which runs four English teaching programs at the same time, including three above, and the Cambridge English program, is facing the same problem.

The representative of the school said the teaching staff has high turnover, as the school cannot retain qualified English teachers because of low salaries.

The Ministry of Education and Training has promised to allocate budget to schools to pay English teachers under the national English teaching program.

However, no money has been disbursed over the last two years. As a result, the school has had to cut expenses to save money to pay English teachers.

According to Phan Van Dong, head of the District 10’s education sub-department, after two recruitment campaigns, local schools were able to find enough teachers to fulfill only 50 percent of the workload of the national English teaching program.

Pham Thuy Ha, head of the Nguyen Van Troi Primary School in district 4, also complained that many English teachers had quit their jobs because of the low pay.

Thu from the District 5’s education sub-department commented that the only good thing schools can offer to English teachers is a stable job. However, this is not enough to retain them.

The headmaster of a school in district 7 said the total income of an English teacher is VND2 million only, including the fixed salary and an allowance. This amount is not enough to cover basic needs.

According to Dr. Nguyen Kim Hong, President of the HCM City University of Education, the country will need 6,600 teachers every year until 2020 to teach English under the national program.


Vietnam, national program, MOET