High school teachers stuck in neutral
  • By Hoai Nam | | December 03, 2013 02:18 PM
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High school teachers in Vietnam have shown a lack of enthusiasm for their own further studies, as they lack of motivation and are overwhelmed by administrative tasks, one teacher said.


Teachers lack of time for self-improvement. Photo: High school teacher in HCM City discussing exam questions with students

MA Huynh Van The, a teacher from Mang Thit High School in the Mekong Delta, made this comment in a report delivered at a recent seminar on the issue in HCM City.

Many teachers are simply satisfied with their position and salary, and feel no need to push themselves. This has been that many teachers lag behind in trends in education.

“Many teachers think that, with their modest salaries, it’s enough to just fulfill their day to day tasks of providing certain number of lessons per week and don’t see any value of further studies. Some of those who do want to improve themselves find it difficult to get the necessary documents,” he commented.

Generally, teachers’ salaries average around VND3-3.5 million (USD142-USD165.75) per month. Many of them consider their payment too modest for the tasks they are asked to perform.

“Teachers just don’t have the time for furthering their own education or self-improvement, as apart from teaching, they are required to do a number of other tasks, including their administrative duties, which takes up much of their time,” The said.

According to The, even though creating lesson plans is a major part of a teachers’ duty, many find it difficult because of the number of classes at different levels they must teach. As a result, many teachers create hastily made lesson plans just in order to meet their deadlines. They are due for inspection twice per week.

In several cases, despite being busy with lessons, teachers must also make report on their initiatives. However most of these initiatives are cursorily similar, many copied from others in order to meet the deadlines. They are often kept in the desk drawers of administrators in case of inspection.

Due to low pay of teachers, several organise extra classes or find a part-time work to earn extra money.

“Teachers are in fact unmotivated to further their education, let alone engaging in independent research. In several cases, those who are enthusiastic find that there is no advisatory support,” he noted.

A recent survey conducted on 10 high school teachers sheds some light on the situation . The results showed that none of the teachers who have completed an MA have published in peer-reviewed journals, and only one had presented their work at a science seminar.

In order to improve the situation, he proposed that universities invite high school teachers to participate in studies of the application of educational methods at the high school level.

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