VietNamNet Bridge – Thousands of English teachers would come to Vietnam within the framework of the national program on teaching foreign languages at schools by 2020.
An agreement has been signed between the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and ELC, the Australian organization would provide thousands volunteer teachers to Vietnam in the next many years. They are the native English speakers from English speaking countries like the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa.
All the teachers would join the program “Teach and Travel in Vietnam.”
The program with reasonable cost
An official of the Ministry of Education and Training said the Steering Committee of the National Program on Teaching Foreign Languages would join forces with ELC to give training to the teachers and allocate them to the schools in Vietnam which have demand for English teachers.
Regarding the qualification of the teachers, Nguyen Ngoc Hung from the steering committee, affirmed that the teachers have university or post-university degrees in different majors, but all of them have to go through training courses and obtain pedagogical certificates to be able to join the program.
“We asked the Australian side to train the teachers before they come to Vietnam,” Hung said.
“We expect 300-500 English teachers to Vietnam every year,” he added.
When asked about the cost of the project, Hung said MOET plans to pay VND6 million a month on average to every foreign teacher, which is now equal to the current average monthly salary of a Vietnamese teacher.
Meanwhile, a foreign teacher would have at least 25 periods a week (45 minutes per period), while a Vietnamese teacher has 18 periods only.
Commenting about the scanty salary budget for foreign teachers, Hung said the salary is just enough to cover the basic needs for the teachers in Vietnam.
Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Vinh Hien highly appreciates the cooperation of the partner to help improve the English skills at Vietnamese schools.
Vietnam doesn’t have money to send teachers abroad
Vietnam is seriously lacking English teachers, while the working teachers don’t have high qualifications, which is really a big barrier to the implementation of the national program.
Ngo Van Hoi, Deputy Director of the Quang Ninh provincial Education and Training, said at a recent conference that only 190 out of the 310 teachers of the department meet the standards. However, of the 190 teachers, only 18 can meet B2 level, 55 B1, while 117 cannot meet B1 level.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by the Da Nang University of Foreign Languages showed that in 2011 and 2011, only 22 out of the 1,996 teachers of the schools in the central region and Central highlands could meet C1 level, 322 met B2 level in accordance with the European frame CEFR.
Admitting that sending Vietnamese teachers to overseas training courses is the best solution, MOET said that the measure proves to be unfeasible, because the state budget cannot afford the training courses.
“We can only send the lecturers at pedagogical schools to overseas training courses. However, I know some pedagogical schools which don’t have any lecturer trained abroad,” Hung said.
The news that Vietnamese students would have the opportunities to learn English with native speakers has been applauded by schools, especially when MOET and the foreign partner affirm their high qualifications. Especially, the pay of VND6 million a month is affordable to the budget.