Kindergartens face teacher shortage
  • | VNS | December 26, 2012 11:01 AM
A lack of incentives has created a shortage of kindergarten teachers, so not all children can go to school by the age of five, a number of National Assembly deputies said at a talk with the Education Minister in Hanoi yesterday.
 Students of Lien Co Kindergarten exercise in the northern province of Thai Nguyen's Vo Nhai District. The nation is suffering a shortage of kindergarten teachers due to a lack of incentives.
The talk, organised by the National Assembly Committee of Culture, Education, Youth, Adolescents and Children, aimed to get the minister to account for the poor quality of both kindergarten and general education.

Many deputies asked him to implement measures that would ensure an adequate supply of kindergarten teachers and improve the quality of their work.

The nation had over 345,500 people working as teachers, managers and staff serving the kindergarten level, said Pham Vu Luan, Minister of Education and Training. Though over 96 per cent of the teachers met training standards, he acknowledged that the department had a long way to go to meet demand.

Deputy Nguyen Thanh Tam from the southern province of Tay Ninh said many individuals accepted jobs at kindergartens without being legally recognised as State employees, putting them in a situation of financial duress.

The minister said the Government has devoted most of its attention to pre-school education in recent years, leaving kindergartens struggling.

"There was a plan to convert non-state kindergartens to State-owned ones, which would therefore formally recognise the status of their teachers,but this is not a simple job and will take time due to limited resources," Luan said.

The ministry has asked municipal and provincial People's Committees to use any funds in their budgets to support the teachers who have not yet been recognised.

Luan also agreed with deputies that more money should go into building schools, most importantly in remote areas, as well as training more teachers who are local residents.

Moving on to general education, deputies said they were concerned that current curricula placed too heavy a burden on students.

Deputy Huynh Thanh Dat from HCM City said textbook-based courses should be adapted to include real-life problems so that students would take an interest in their studies.

Minister Luan agreed. Although textbook-based education is currently the accepted method of transmitting information to students, he said, starting in 2015 the nation will reduce the number of subjects taught at schools and replace academic abstractions in the curriculum with real-life knowledge and practical skills.

The minister said examinations would also offer new types of questions that required students to use their real-life experiences and perceptions of society.

NA Deputy Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong lauded the talk, which she said was part of the NA's supervision programme.

To popularise education for five-year-olds, she called on authorised bodies to reimburse the funding of VND14.6 trillion (US$700 million) that has been approved by the Prime Minister.

The committee suggested adding more regulations on both kindergarten and general education textbooks to the Education Law and implementing a Law on Teachers in the next few years.

He also proposed that private financial resources be used to build schools and other educational facilities.

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