|A teacher shows her pupils how to play a game at an outdoor class at HCM City-based May 19 Kindergarten. The city is grappling with a shortage of qualified preschool teachers. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HCM CITY (VNS) — Authorities in HCM City are working to solve an ongoing shortage of preschool teachers, which is becoming a serious issue in meeting demand and quality standards for early childhood education.
Tran Thi Kim Thanh, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Education and Training, said the city currently needs about 5,000 teachers and that this figure would rise to 17,000 teachers by 2020.
She also said that at present, the city had only three schools offering specialised training in nursery teaching, namely Sai Gon University, the HCM City Pedagogical University and the HCM City Central College of Education.
Currently, the schools only accept around 3,000-5,000 students per year. It takes each student between 3-4 years to graduate, after which only about 1,000 graduates are available each year to enter the labour market.
The current environment had left nursery schools with no option but to recruit people from unqualified sources, which posed risks to the quality of education at the preschool level, said Thanh.
In response to the situation, Huynh Cong Hung, head of the Socio-Cultural Committee at the HCM City People's Council, said the People's Committee would make a submission to the Ministry of Education and Training, requesting the opening of vocation schools specialising in nursery training at the city's pedagogical colleges.
To address the shortage for the immediate school term of 2014-2015, Sai Gon University is expecting to forge better relationships with preschools and relevant bodies to provide courses for more nursery teachers. The school will also offer training in childcare for more than 1,000 people this summer and grant certificates to qualified students to alleviate the teacher shortage for the school term.
The university also said it would draft a plan to build a vocational school for preschool and primary school education, to produce an extra 1,200-1,600 teachers per year.
Hung explained that the city would also focus on improving the quality of theoretical and practical training, encourage internships among students, promote favourable policies and build more nursery facilities in eight districts in the 2014-15 school term. — VNS