Pedagogical schools have to “go marketized”
VietNamNet Bridge – A lot of pedagogical schools have to enroll students for non-pedagogical training branches, because only the diversification in training allows them to exist and develop.

There are about 30 local pedagogical junior colleges nationwide and many of them have to enroll the numbers of students for pedagogical training branches, double the numbers of students for non-pedagogical branches.

In principle, the main role of pedagogical schools is to produce teachers for general schools. However, in fact, they have been trying to train bachelors in different majors.

The ratio of non-pedagogical training branches at the Thua Thien-Hue Pedagogical Junior College is 16/8, while the ratios are 8/4 at the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Pedagogical Junior College and 6/3 at the Kon Tum Pedagogical Junior College.

Even big universities of education have also been trying to diversify their training majors. The HCM City University of Education, for example, plans to enroll students for 31 majors this year, including 12 non-pedagogical majors. The Hanoi 2 University of Education plans to enroll students for 11 non-pedagogical training branches out of the 22 branches. Meanwhile, the Hanoi 1 University of Education has 8 non-pedagogical branches out of the total 31.

Sources of candidates getting exhausted

According to Le Van Don, Deputy President of the Tra Vinh University, who was the headmaster of the Tra Vinh Pedagogical Junior College, said that there were not many students for schools to enroll, especially the students following natural science studies, which has led to the waste of material facilities at the college. As a result, the junior college had to merge into the Tra Vinh University to survive.

Also according to Dong, in the last 3-4 years, the school has to stop enrolling students for mathematics, physics, biology and informatics majors, while it only keeps enrolling students for two pedagogical majors, including pre-school and primary education. Of the eight training branches the Tra Vinh Pedagogical Junior College plans to provide this year, six are non-pedagogical.

Pham Vu Luat, President of the Dak Lak Pedagogical Junior College, said that local pedagogical schools have to shift into interdisciplinary schools because of many reasons.

However, the biggest reason is that students nowadays are not interested in pedagogical training branches, and they do not intend to become teachers who can only get modest salaries. Also, students think that there are not many opportunities for them to find jobs after they finish schools, since schools have found enough teachers.

Le Thi Hoa, Vice President of the Thua Thien-Hue Pedagogical Junior College, said that since the local budgets are limited, it would be better to set up interdisciplinary schools which allow to both take full advantage of the existing material facilities, and to easily find students to enroll.

Hoa has stressed that it would be better to change the name of the school into an interdisciplinary school. Currently, though bearing the name of a pedagogical school, the number of non-pedagogical training branches is double the number of pedagogical branches.

Becoming interdisciplinary schools is the solution

Over the last 10 years, a lot of local pedagogical schools, including Bac Kan, Hai Duong, Vinh Phuc, Binh Dinh and Can Tho have shifted into interdisciplinary schools. The Thua Thien-Hue School is also awaiting the approval for the name changing.

Luat said that becoming interdisciplinary schools proves to be a solution for schools to settle their difficulties. Especially, in some localities, pedagogical junior colleges want to become interdisciplinary universities, even though the schools remain fledglings.

“This should be seen as a temporary solution only. In long term, in order to produce qualified teachers for schools, pedagogical schools need to focus on their main function and pedagogical training branches,” Luat said.

According to Dr Tran Huu Ta, former Dean of the Literature Faculty of the HCM City University of Education, pedagogical schools were born in masses three decades ago, while many of them have fallen into big difficulties due to the bad management.

Source: Nguoi lao dong