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Qualified teachers remain redundant in HCM City

Update 05/09/2012 - 03:10:02 PM (GMT+7)

While kindergartens and primary schools face serious teacher shortages, HCM City is having to cope with too many qualified high school teachers.

Students at Saigon University receiving jobs from the local DET

An applicant for a teaching position in HCM City said, "I graduated university in physics so I just attended an interview to gain experience, not really expect anything. The physics sector only needs 29 teachers but 282 people have turned up and many of them have masters degrees or higher. I also applied to a private school but they'll prioritise male teachers. My family really expect me to have a job and help out with their financial difficulties. I think I'll have to become a worker for a processing company for a year then I'll look for job again."

Many other applicants also said they don't really expect to find a job. Another applicant said, "I graduated a year ago but still don't have a stable job. I'm currently a temporary teacher at a private school with wage of VND55,000 (USD2.6) per class, but they only call when they need me." The applicant said the biology sector only needed 31 teachers but 160 people had turned up for interviews. "That's why I also wrote in my application that if I couldn't be selected, I'd be happy enough to become a laboratory or library staff member. I need a stable job."

Another interviewee shared, "Of course people want to get a job after graduating, but since history teachers are redundant, I’m just taking part in the interview to gain some experience."

Meanwhile, a civic education teacher said, "They asked me what were my plans for the next five years and I didn't really know how to answer. If I failed, I don't know where to go. My friends advised me to be life skills teacher or student counsellor."

According to HCM City's statistic as of August 2, the city had 2,975 qualified high school teachers, while the city only needs 525, meaning 1,450 teachers remain unemployed.

The Head of the Organisation and Personnel Office of HCMC Department of Education and Training (DET), Van Cong Sang said there were too many teachers applying for private schools or to become library staff.

As teacher training courses are exempt from tuition, these means the a huge waste of state funding.

A worker in Saigon University said, "There should be better co-operation between educational and training facilities to balance out the supply and demand. Of course data is relative but localities should estimate teacher needs for the next few years when it comes to setting university admission quotas. However, this is a macro issue that needs to be resolved by higher authorities."

Sang said, "We did estimates, however, the universities recruit students from all over the country not just in HCM City. School can't deny students that permanently live in HCM City an education because the city has redundant teachers. The regulation of numbers will be resolved by the market."

Meanwhile, many kindergarten and primary schools are having difficulties in recruiting teachers.

"The next school year, District 11 needs 58 kindergarten teachers but only nine have attended interviews." Nguyen Thi Le Duyen, Deputy Head of the Organisation and Personnel Office of District No. 11 said.

District No. 9 needs 40 kindergarten teachers and 50 primary school teachers but their interviews only had 22 applicants for kindergartens and 30 for primary schools. Tan Phu District, Binh Chanh District and District No. 8 also have the same problem.

At HCM City Education University, the 2007-2011 course had 10 students studying to become kindergarten teachers and 22 students studying as primary school teachers. In the next course, 2008-2012, the number of students in the kindergarten department dwindled to six and 27 students for primary schools. The 2011-2015 course has the highest number of 17 kindergarten school students and 54 primary school students.

"This has been a problem for several years. We're having serious trouble in finding school staff." Sang said.

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