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VietNamNews

Teachers work long hours for poor pay

Update: July, 20/2012 - 10:53

HCM CITY— Primary, secondary, and junior school teachers work 60 to 70 hours a week, but half of them get paid below the national average, a workshop heard in HCM City on Wednesday.

Delegates at the "Solution to reform teachers training and fostering" workshop said that was one reason why out of 20,000 university applicants in HCM City in 2010-12, only 5 per cent wanted to study teaching.

"A teacher should be an educator who transmits knowledge, guides, organises, and advises students and instill the right conduct," Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted Nguyen Thi Binh, the country's former deputy president and chairwoman of the Viet Nam Peace and Development Foundation, which organised the event, as saying.

"Their own individuality will mould a student's personality," she said.

However, the current training process, which focuses on transmitting knowledge, provides "teaching workers," not educators, she said. Professor Dinh Quang Bao of the Teaching Study Institute said to get educators, teachers training universities must ensure they produce students with teaching professionalism, general knowledge, and professional knowledge.

But most universities do not focus enough on teaching professionalism, leading to the fact that their students are poor at educational skills, coping with naughty students, and working with parents and the community to deal with problems.

He also described the quality of entrance exams to these universities as "pitiful."

Prof Hoang Tuy said: "We will not have good education without good teachers but policies regarding teachers are very backward."

According to a survey by the fund, the average income of a teacher is VND3 – 3.5 million (US$142-166) per month, but 50 per cent of them get lower salaries.

After 25 years a teacher is likely to earn VND4.1 – 4.7 million ($197-226).

"We must improve salaries and working conditions and reform recruitment, training, and refresher training for teachers to sustain the quality of education," he added.

The Viet Nam Peace and Development Foundation mobilises contributions from the overseas and domestic communities to serve the cause of peace and development through research, charity programmes and projects. — VNS

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