Statements about education that stirred debate in 2017

Statements by people who have influence in society stirred public debate in 2017.

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Vietnam needs a reform in educational sector

1. On May 16, when Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha met voters in Binh Dinh province, he mentioned the plan to eliminate civil service policy for teachers, i.e. teachers would no longer be civil servants and would work under labor contracts. This caused anxiety for millions of teachers. Some analysts voiced their concern about the plan, warning that the policy would lead to a shortage of teachers as students turn their backs to pedagogical universities and colleges. PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc later reassured the public that this was just a proposal by MOET (Ministry of Education and Training).

MOET mentioned the plan to eliminate civil service policy for teachers, i.e. teachers would no longer be civil servants and would work under labor contracts.

2. MOET, state agencies, and labor experts all agreed that raising salaries for teachers is necessary to ensure education quality. However, where will the money to raise teachers’ salaries come from? Prof Dr Pham Tat Dong, deputy chair of the Vietnam Society for Study Encouragement, commented that if Vietnam could cut ineffective trillions-of-dong projects, it would have enough money to offer higher salaries to teachers. Many unnecessary golf courses, airports and monuments have been built in many localities, he said. As for MOET, instead of asking for a budget of tens of trillions of dong to re-compile textbooks, it should use a part of the amount of money to pay teachers. 3.  Many educators and analysts voiced deep concern when pedagogical schools lowered the required exam scores on students. Students just need a 9-10/30 score for three exam subjects from the national high school finals to be eligible to apply for pedagogical schools. They warned that the low quality of students would not produce high-quality graduates and “Vietnamese education will be in danger”. Le Truong Tung, president of FPT University, said: “I hope that students who got low exam scores will not become teachers, as national education will be seriously affected.” 4. Many educators have proposed removing the policy on exempting tuition for pedagogical school students. The policy has been applied for many years to attract excellent students but hasn`t brought the desired effects. “The tuition exemption for pedagogical school students is unfair to students in other training majors. It is the right time to remove the policy,” said Do Van Dung, president of the HCMC University of Technical Education. A report shows that 90 percent of graduates of pedagogical schools with high marks do not work as teachers, but work for companies which offer higher pay.

Le Van

Source: VietNamNet

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