|Teacher Lai Thi Mai Anh teaches literature at Quynh Mai Primary School in Ha Noi. More students have applied to teach due to the increasing perception it's a stable career. — VNA/VNS Photo Quy Trung
HCM CITY (VNS)— For years, ambitious university students balked at a teaching career, primarily because of low pay and less than desirable working conditions.
But Tran Thanh Toan of central Binh Thuan Province, who will graduate high school this year, has chosen to take a different path.
"I like teaching very much, especially children," said Toan, who has applied to enter HCM City University of Education's primary education faculty for the upcoming academic year.
"I really like the feeling of standing on a platform in front of the children. It's great," he said, adding that primary schools lay the foundation for children's learning and development in life.
Toan's parents are fully supportive of his decision. However, their reasons are more pragmatic: demand for instructors in their hometown is high and their son will never be unemployed.
And the salary is sufficient for him to settle down and live in his hometown, they said.
Toan is not alone. In today's economy, the once-hot fields of finance and banking are experiencing declining student enrolment while applications to pedagogy institutions have soared.
Dinh Thi Thai Tien, a 12th grader in southern Ba Ria- Vung Tau Province, is also applying to HCM City University of Education this year. Recognising the demand for kindergarten teachers, Tien said she wanted to stay in her hometown after graduating and live with her parents.
Many other students at Tien's and Toan's high schools are seriously considering a teaching career as well.
In the last two years, more students applied to pedagogy institutions because they see the career as a stable one, according to Associate Professor Hoang Van Can, deputy rector of HCM City University of Education.
The government has also helped improve the life of teachers by adding teacher allowances and creating more favourable policies, he added.
This year, HCM City University of Education has received 23,000 applications, an increase of more than 5,000 compared to last year, he said.
Because the university's enrolment quota is only 7,480, Can said the university could be more selective in choosing candidates.
Besides HCM City, many provinces in the country are seeing an increase in pedagogy university applications.
In southern Dong Thap Province, the local Department of Education and Training, which also can receive applications from students, sent 94 submissions to the HCM City University of Education this year compared to 33 last year.
The HCM City University of Technical Education received 331, an increase of more than 100 applications compared to 2012.
The universities of Tien Giang, Phu Yen and Pham Van Dong in the respective provinces of Quang Ngai, Dong Thap and An Giang have also seen an increase of applications for education faculties this year.
Primary education is the most popular choice, according to administrators.
In the north, the number of applications for pedagogy faculties has risen nearly 7 per cent compared to last year, according to education and training departments in the region.
Ha Noi University of Education, for example, has received more than 6,900 applications, an increase of more than 5,500 compared to last year. Besides pedagogy, the field of medicine-pharmacy, agriculture-forestry and engineering have also seen application increases.
Unlike 2012, economic faculties have lost their allure and have seen a drop in applications.
While the number of applications has increased at pedagogy institutions, applications for all faculties have seen a decline.
In the southern region, there were a total of 25,600 applications, a drop of 400 compared to last year.
The number of applications for colleges fell by 60 per cent against last year. Similarly, many northern provinces and cities have seen a drop in the number of applications for universities and colleges.
Northern central Thanh Hoa Province had as many as 63,000 applications. But this figure was 16,000 fewer than the number received last year, according to the province's Department of Education and Training.
The number of applications in northern Nam Dinh Province also fell by10,000 against last year.
Le Truong Xin of the Department of Education and Training in northern Bac Giang Province said students were applying for fewer faculties, causing the overall number to drop.
Good counselling at high schools had also helped candidates be more selective about their chosen fields.
Duong Thi Thanh Nga of southern Binh Duong Province's Department of Education and Training said that many universities and colleges located near the students' hometowns were receiving more applications. —VNS