Oct 15, 2012

Vietnam - MOET plans to give ‘consolation money” to teachers

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VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) is considering providing the once- seniority allowance to retired workers. However, teachers say they feel “self-pity” with the new policy.

It is estimated that 190,000 teachers, who retired in the period from January 1994 to May 2011 still have not enjoyed the seniority allowance when getting pensions.

Explains this, MOET said that if the new policy on seniority allowance mechanism retroacts, which means the retired teachers in the past also got this kind of allowance, this would not need a huge sum of money which would be a heavy burden on the state budget.

Once-allowance outrages teachers

The National Assembly has decided that from 2012, the seniority allowance mechanism would be applied to the retired teachers who have not enjoyed this kind of allowance yet.

MOET has opened the draft Prime Minister’s decision on the issue for public opinion, which says that the teachers retiring in the period of between January 1, 1994 and May 1, 2011 would receive the allowance once, 2-3.5 million dong per teacher. The state would have to pay 565 billion dong for the allowance, if the suggested policy is approved.

Retired teachers said they “feel self-pity” when hearing the news. As such, the teachers would receive allowance once instead of receiving monthly together with the pensions. Meanwhile, the suggested seniority allowance levels are really “very modest”.

Nguyen Xuan Phuong from the Vietnam Former Teachers’ Association, said that the 190,000 retired teachers to receive allowance are now aged between 61 and 78, which means that they devoted themselves to the national education during the war against the US imperialism, while many of them once served on the battlefield. Meanwhile, 100,000 teachers pass away every year.

“The suggested allowance levels are clearly unreasonable. I received the calls from old teachers who expressed their anger about the MOET’s intension,” Phuong said.

“They told me that they are not children who demand confections,” he added.

He stressed that the seniority allowance is not a kind of allowance to be offered to the needy people.

When asked to talk more about the “unreasonable things” of the draft document, he said that the suggested policy aims to offer similar allowance levels to all the teachers.

“It would be very funny if even the well-known senior teachers like the historian Prof Phan Huy Le receives 2 or 3 million dong,” he commented.

MOET asked to reconsider suggested policies

MOET not only faces the strong opposition from the retired teachers, but also from the officers, who once worked in the education sector.

Nguyen Mau Banh, a well-known educator, noted that the draft document by MOET has weeded out educational management officers from the list of the allowance subjects.

Banh has pointed out that those, who undertook the management work in education, once were also the teachers. Only the experienced and qualified teachers with at least 15-20 year experience, were appointed to the management positions.

After a long period of working as teachers, they left schools for education departments or MOET. Therefore, the teachers should be added into the list of the people to receive allowance.

An officer of the education and training department in Red River Delta, said she spent six years as a teacher at a high school after finishing the Hanoi University of Education. After that, she left the school and took the job at the education department. To date, she still has not been recognized as a “civil servant” of the State.

Compiled by Thu Uyen

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