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Many new regulations burden schools

Update: December, 06/2016 - 10:26
Many new regulations regarding school personnel have made it hard to ensure safety and quality in teaching, according to the HCM City Department of Education and Training. — Photo nhandan.com.vn

HCM CITY — Many new regulations regarding school personnel have made it hard to ensure safety and quality in teaching, according to the HCM City Department of Education and Training.

An example is a regulation that freezes the hiring of accountants and health officials at schools, which came into effect last year, Nguyễn Tiến Đạt, the department’s deputy head, said at a meeting with National Assembly’s Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Child held last Friday.

Đạt said school principals could easily go to prison if they are not assisted by an accountant in bookkeeping, audits and inspecting financial records.

"Moreover, each school has thousands of students. If there are no health officials, it is very dangerous for them," he added.

According to the department, schools need to employ staff for psychological counselling as the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) requires counselling at schools.

Nurses are also vital for kindergartens in the city because as many as 40 to 45 kids are in each classroom.

However, the MoET and Ministry of Home Affairs do not regulate these positions at schools. This means that schools who want to employ them have to pay a salary with their own budget.

Nguyễn Văn Hiếu, the department’s deputy head, said that it is very difficult for the city to reduce the number of students in each classroom.

In peak years, the number of students in the city increased by 85,000 and averages more than 60,000 additional students each year, he said.

The city builds 1,500 to 2,000 new classrooms every year, but always fails to meet the increasing number of students, he added.

Moreover, the MoET bans primary schools from employing English teachers as full-time state employees.

They only employ these teachers under short-term contracts, Hiếu said.

According to him, this is difficult for primary schools in HCM City because they have taught intensive English since 1998. As of now, 81 per cent of the city’s primary students learn English under different training programmes. 

"The salary for English teachers at primary schools is too low to keep qualified teachers," Hiếu added.

English teachers at primary schools are required to teach 23 classes a week. They only receive an additional payment from the 24th class. Meanwhile, their colleagues in junior high schools and high schools need to teach 19 and 17 classes, respectively. 

Another problem, according to Trương Văn Hùng, head of the professional and higher education division at the department, is there have not yet been preferential tax or money policies for using land for private education facilities as required by the Law on Higher Education.

Moreover, there is no detailed policy on land planning to meet the criteria of 55 sq m for each student set by the MoET.

The consequence is that private schools lease too many facilities for teaching, Hùng said, adding that it is very difficult for the department to monitor.

Because of leasing, many private schools lack necessary equipment for teaching, he added. — VNS

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