Nov 6, 2012

Vietnam - The English teachers for the poor?

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VietNamNet Bridge – Educators say they cannot understand why the HCM City authorities do not think of recruiting English teachers from the UK, US or Australia, but have decided to employ Filipino teachers.

The Hoang Hoa Tham High School in HCM City has been employing an English teacher from the US for the last many years. The teacher gives 16 teaching periods a week at the school and receives 20 dollars for a 45-minute period.

Nguyen Dinh Thinh, Headmaster of the school, said that it would better for students to learn English with native speakers, so that they can speak English fluently and have good English pronunciation.

Many other schools in HCM City also recruit foreign English teachers, a part of the program on renovating the current teaching and learning English method which is believed ineffective.

Filipino teachers a good choice?

The HCM City authorities have decided that from the 2012-2013 academic year, foreign teachers would be recruited in a large scale for the English lessons at general schools, a part of the program on heightening the English teaching quality.

The HCM City Education and Training Department on October 30 announced that the first100 Filipino teachers would be recruited and would be teaching English at some primary, secondary and high schools.

The Filipino teachers would not only provide teaching hours, but would also participate in extracurricular activities and share experiences with the Vietnamese teachers about the new teaching methods, help improve the listening and speaking skills of Vietnamese teachers and students.

The Filipino teachers to be recruited must have university degree, pedagogical skills in teaching English, and have the capability to organize extracurricular activities or English clubs. Especially, they need to have experiences in teaching English to Asian people.

According to Le Hong Son, Director of the HCM City Education and Training Department, every Filipino teacher would receive 2000 dollars a month. This would be paid for 20 teaching periods, 15 hours of extracurricular activities and the support to Vietnamese teachers.

Students would have to pay money for the English lessons, about 120,000 dong a month for each student.

Son said that the city’s authorities are considering prop up 50 percent of the total expenses on English lessons. However, in the immediate time, parents would have to pay 100 percent of the tuitions, while the city’s authorities would consider giving financial support when the economic difficulties can be eased.

The solution for the poor?

Son said that Filipino teachers have been chosen after a lot of considerations. Filipinos prove to be the most suitable candidates the city is looking for, especially when the city has signed an agreement on economic, cultural and social cooperation with the country. English is the main language used in communication the Philippines.

Especially, Filipinos require acceptable salaries of 2000 dollars a month. Meanwhile, European teachers require 3000 dollars at least.

Educators have raised their worries about the quality of the English teaching program with Filipino teachers. Headmaster of a high school in HCM City said though the Philippines is an English speaking country, it is still an Asian country, which means that they would not have standard intonations like British of American ones.

“It seems that we choose Filipino teachers because we are the poor,” he commented.

Cao Huy Thao, Headmaster of the Vietnam-Australia International School, said recruiting Filipino teachers should be a temporary solution for now. In the long term, Vietnam should prepare its teaching staff by sending qualified teachers abroad for training or inviting native speakers to teach at Vietnamese schools.


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