Last week, Viet Nam News asked readers about a circular that requires foreigners who want to work as specialists in Viet Nam to have university degrees and at least five years of experience in the area they plan to work.
Many respondents agree that setting high standards for foreign employees is necessary to improve the quality of human resources in Viet Nam.
However, most call for strict enforcement of the process to ensure that standards are maintained, especially in the field of English teaching. Here are some of the responses:
Darren Jones, British, Ha Noi
I was a science teacher working for BVIS and had to produce all my degree documents and teaching qualifications, signed by the British government, to establish my credentials.
Viet Nam should have regulations regarding teaching here. I have met many many foreign teachers without teaching qualifications. They maybe able to speak English, but this does not make them good teachers.
Viet Nam should set high standards for its people and insist that only qualified people come and teach. Foreign teachers should have relevant teaching qualifications from their home countries.
This would limit the number of backpackers coming to Viet Nam just to get jobs to pay for their holidays. Many seem more interested in financial reward rather than giving students a good education.
Allowing unqualified teachers to teach undermines the teaching profession as a whole.
I have met teachers pretending to be experts, but when asked what they did for a living before they came to Viet Nam, I have been given answers such as: "Well I was a contractor, but my business went down, so I came to Viet Nam to teach."
I bet! I believe more then 50 per cent of the so-called foreign teachers in Viet Nam don't have any teaching qualification. Worse, however, is that the schools and institutes that employ them are prepared to go along with the deception.
Indeed, I have encountered situations in which diplomas for academic staff were faked. Good photoshop job.
I have been working in Viet Nam as project director, project manager and technical expert since 1997. In my experience, many of the so-called experts brought into the country are actually substandard and have little or nothing to offer.
Vietnamese are aware of this but accept that an investor has required that certain positions be filled by expatriates. In most cases, domestically trained people are often now available.
Certainly, Viet Nam can supply most of technically trained and experienced personnel.
Martin Ratia, Australian,Vung Tau
The value of a university degree can vary markedly from one institution to another and can be of questionable value.
Many Western corporation now treat academic degrees with scepticism. However, people describing themselves as specialists should surely have at least five years experience in their selected field.
On the same subject, I'd also like to see more realistic criteria for English teachers, because some of the people I've met who are employed to educate Viet Nam's youth have trouble speaking correct English, let alone teaching it.
That criticism applies to foreign and Vietnamese teachers alike!
John MacDonald, Australian, Ha Noi
"Foreign expert" often means a second-rate overseas nobody with little practical experience and almost no know-how.
In a country like Viet Nam, which has had to pull itself up by its own bootlaces, many sectors have a desperate need for well experienced and well qualified people.
The opening of the ASEAN community should encourage more regional experts to lend their experience to Viet Nam, and the costs should be much lower than hiring people from highly developed - and expensive - countries.
But if the abuse of the English teaching system by many Vietnamese schools and colleges is not learned, Viet Nam could end up being advised by a collection of rather useless people instead of those who inspire.
Wisan Chedi, from Thailand
Knowledge should be sought from around the world, but in the long run, a nation must depend on its own resources and its own talent. — VNS