Teacher shortage causes concern
HCM CITY — As a new academic year approaches, many provinces and cities are worried they will not have enough kindergarten and primary school teachers.
|A teacher of Truong Quyen Primary School in HCM City is instructing her grade-one students on their lesson. There is a shortage of kindergarten and primary school teachers when a new school year approaches. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
Le Hong Son, head of the HCM City Department of Education and Training said that the city would have 591 new classrooms in the 2012-2013 school year.
Out of these, 33 are for kindergartens and 161 for primary schools.
Currently, the city has 52,700 teachers and will recruit another 3,300 for all levels, including 751 for kindergartens level and 1,000 for primary schools.
To deal with the shortage of teachers experienced in previous years, the city has allowed the education department to recruit teachers with temporary residential certificates called KT3, according to Son.
It has also extended the recruitment time instead of the usual deadline of early July.
Until now, his office has received over 3,600 applicants, but most of them are for junior and secondary school levels.
Only 440 applications are for kindergartens and 525 for primary schools.
According to Ta Tan, head of the education division in Tan Phu District, the shortage of teachers, especially for kindergarten and primary schools, has existed for many years and this year is no different.
The district needs 291 teachers for these two levels this year, but it has received just 130 applications. The training subsidies offered by the city for teacher's training at these two levels did not meet demand, Tan said.
"Moreover, the number of the migrant students attending pedagogy colleges in city is higher than those residing here. But the city only allows the education department to recruit teachers who are permanent or temporary residents," Tan said.
Another reason for the shortage was the high rate of teacher turnover, as the low salary and hard work involved forced many to quit, Tan said.
Like HCM City, provinces and cities in the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta are also facing a shortage of kindergarten and primary school teachers.
The region lacks nearly 2,300 kindergarten teachers.
An Giang Province has nearly 18,000 teachers for all levels including 1,800 for kindergartens and more than 8,000 for primary schools. This still falls short of demand, according to the province's Department of Education and Training.
The province needs another 250 primary teachers and 160 more kindergarten ones.
However, the number of graduates with teachers' training qualifications from colleges is just 160.
Phan Van Son, head of the department's staff management office, said that the shortage of teachers at these two levels would continue to exist and would extend in the coming years to junior and secondary high school levels.
He said the number of students applying for pedagogy programmes in universities and colleges had been reducing steadily of late. — VNS