As demands rise, regulations for extra classes are a must: experts

May 20, 2023 - 10:35
Experts said a plan for management is necessary to prevent unexpected adverse effects in tutoring and extra classes.
If tutoring is recognised as a line of business, a framework and control measures must be followed to prevent unwanted consequences. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — With the need for tutoring and extra classes rising among students and parents, experts are calling for a legal framework to regulate the activities and avoid negative consequences.

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) recently said that it would consult with the Government in including tutoring and extra classes to the list of conditional businesses and adjust relevant regulations stated in Circular No 17/2012/TT-BGDĐT.

Dr Đỗ Minh Cương, deputy director of the Institute of Business Culture, said that this proposal stems from the urgent needs of parents and a management plan is necessary to prevent unexpected adverse effects.

Speaking to Giáo dục Việt Nam (Việt Nam Education) e-magazine, Cương said: “When living conditions improve, demands to send children to extra classes for knowledge enrichment is a legitimate need of many parents.

“When parents believe that the time spent in the general education programme is not enough, their seeking extra classes for their children is understandable.

“Extra classes are not only confined to the subjects they learn at school, but can be others that could expand their knowledge.”

However, he added that there have been shortages of regulations, which lead to spontaneous tutoring and uncontrollable fee ranges.

Cương said: “This will be a direct disadvantage to students, parents and even teachers under legal contracts with tutoring facilities.

“Therefore, I believe that the MoET’s proposal to the National Assembly – to include tutoring and extra classes to the list of conditional business lines – is logical, and I give my full support.”

If tutoring is recognised as a ‘business line’, then it is obliged to follow a framework and control measures to prevent unwanted consequences, he said.

“There could be cases where teachers do not put efforts into the general programme, so that the only way for students to have sufficient knowledge is to opt for tutoring classes," he added.

“This will be unfair for underprivileged students who cannot afford extra classes.”

Cương also suggested penalties for teachers who coerce students to enroll in tutoring classes, defining ranges of tuition fees and collection methods, and a feedback portal for students and parents to report violations.

The most important thing is the ethics and attitude of education professionals, he said.

Dr Nguyễn Xuân Tế, former principal of the Institute of Education Management in HCM City, also said that tutoring must be well-regulated and managed by the State.

Tế said: “For a long time, we have seen education as a special sector so that some management methods which are applying to others do not work.

“Therefore, I believe that the MoET should make careful consideration if they want to put this proposal into practice.

“The key matter in tutoring and extra classes has always been quality. Clearly, quality cannot be guaranteed if management is not good.”

The former principal raised the concern that when tutoring is recognised as a business, ineffective management could result in the ‘commercialisation’ of education.

Tế added: “This means tutoring and extra classes will become rampant and out of control. People will open classes and learning centres, and hire teachers when they have the money to, while no one knows the lesson quality.

“Not to mention that when extra classes are allowed, the number of tutoring classes and centres will also quickly multiply.

“Then, it is essential to check if the lesson plans in these centres align with the general education programme, or only further confuse students with a huge load of knowledge.

“This is what the departments and units working on the proposal need to pay attention to.” — VNS