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Shortage of pre-school teachers to worsen, warns education ministry

Update: October, 31/2020 - 09:15

 

A kindergarten in Sơn La Province. — VNA/VNS.Photo Quang Quyết

HCM CITY — The country’s pre-schools face and will continue to face a shortage of teachers until 2025, the head of the Ministry of Education and Training’s pre-school education department has warned.

Speaking at a conference in HCM City ealier this week, Nguyễn Bá Minh said the shortage would become more serious in remote areas in the Central Highlands, the north and the Mekong River Delta.

According to ministry statistics, the current ratio is 1.82 teachers per class, meaning there is a shortage of more than 45,000 teachers based on standards it has set.

Besides, only 73.7 per cent of teachers meet standards spelt out in the 2019 Education Law.

The number of pre-schoolers increases by 250,000 every year, and this puts great pressure on schools and teachers. In big cities, many teachers quit their jobs because of the hard work involved despite low salaries.

In future public kindergartens plan to offer babysitting services after school to increase their and teachers’ incomes.  

Besides, the private pre-school growth target of accounting for more than 25 per cent of the total number of kindergartens by 2020 is difficult to achieve, especially in the Central Highlands, the Mekong Delta and some northern mountain provinces, according to Minh.

There are 3,180 of them now, or 20.6 per cent of the total number, and 15,914 small nurseries.

Many provinces and large cities face a shortage of land for setting up private kindergartens.

Kindergartens at industrial parks do not yet benefit from incentives related to taxes and land lease.

Minh suggested that local authorities should set up a clear legal framework and methods to incentivise people to invest in kindergartens.   

In HCM City, 879 out of its 1,346 kindergartens are private.

According to the ministry, the number of private and public kindergartens in the country increased by 2,634 in the last 10 years while the number of children went up by 1.5 million.

As of December last year all 63 provinces and cities were providing compulsory education for five-year-olds.  

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Ngô Thị Minh said her ministry would continue to petition the Government to address problems provinces and cities face. 

She said education and training departments and authorities in provinces and cities should take the initiative to set up more kindergartens and create more facilities for them, and train teachers to gradually end the shortage of teachers.

Education would be made compulsory for four-year-old children by 2030, she said.

Under new Government policies, an allowance of at least VNĐ800,000 (US$34.6) would be paid to teachers at private kindergartens in industrial parks by local authorities, she said.

Minh added that the Government would also pay allowances to private kindergarten teachers to attend training courses. — VNS

 

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