Nov 7, 2012

Vietnam - Local authorities go to extremes to prohibit private tutoring

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VietNamNet Bridge – After the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) issued the new circular on private tutoring management, local authorities have been controlling the private tutoring with harshness, while in other localities, extra classes have been shut down because the local authorities do not accept private tutoring under any forms.

Tutors caught red handed

T, a literature teacher of PM School in Hanoi, related that she was teaching a group of ninth graders when a group of inspectors rushed in. There were the representatives from the school where I work for, the education and training sub-department, local authorities and the police.

The literature teacher was caught red handed when she was giving private tutoring.

Under the new regulations, the teachers can run extra classes if they can satisfy some requirements. T said she has asked for the permission to run extra classes, but the procedure has not been completed yet due to some reasons.

T admitted that it was her fault when she ran the class even though I did not have necessary documents. However, she complained about the way the inspectors forced her to stop the class.

“I could not show the documents stipulated in the newly issued Circular No. 7. However, is it really necessary to catch me red handed on the spot, where there were my students?” T said, adding that she felt so ashamed at that time.

H, a teacher of the HD High School in Hanoi, does not have a private tutoring class herself, while she takes the extra teaching job at a refresher training center.

“The inspectors found problems at the center, and it was not my fault. However, I still had to sign in the report of violation before my class with the witness of students,” H said.

“I still feel ashamed about the fact, even though it was not my fault. I strongly believe the watchdog agency needs to apply other measures to stop the private tutoring, rather than showing teachers up in the public,” she said.

A teacher, who has been found as giving private tutoring lessons to students in Phu Yen province, also said she has the morale undermined after the fact.

“What was I punished for? For giving my knowledge to students?” she questioned.

The teacher complained that it would be unfair to prohibit teachers to give private tutoring lessons to earn their living.

“I know a music teacher who has to sign at wedding ceremonies to earn his living, while another teacher sells groceries after school hours, because she cannot live on the modest salary paid by the State budget. Why can we not run extra classes to earn extra money then?” she complained.

The drastic measures taken by the local authorities have caused a big surprise in the public. In Vietnam, teacher has always been considered one of the honorable careers. Therefore, people have agreed that such a gross behavior should not be applied to teachers.

“I feel a pity when the inspectors not only asked me to acknowledge my fault before my students, but also discussed with my students to obtain proofs about my fault,” he said.

“It would be better not to conduct such a gross behavior to teachers, because this would spoil the image of the teachers and discredit them,” he said. “We are the teachers, who give knowledge to students, not the crimes in the society.”

The Ministry of Education and Training should understand that going to private tutoring class is the students’ demand. That explained why students asked the inspectors to overlook the teacher’s fault.


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