VietNamNet Bridge – Experts have urged the Government to raise salaries for teachers, as half of 500 teachers recently surveyed do not want to continue their career because of low pay.
Associate Professor Vu Trong Ry of the Viet Nam Institute of Educational Sciences conducted interviews with teachers at primary, secondary and high school levels nationwide to identify the most serious problems faced by teachers.
Results of the interviews were discussed at a workshop on "Teachers, the Important Element in Education Development" held yesterday in HCM City.
According to Dr Phan Xuan Bien of the HCM City Institute for Development Studies, many teachers organised outside classes to earn more income.
As a result, they do not have time to widen their professional knowledge.
In addition, university lecturers had no time to spend on research.
Bien said that if the Government wanted them to spend more time to enrich their knowledge, better salaries must be paid.
Dr Ho Thieu Hung, former deputy head of the HCM City Party Committee's Ideology/Cultural Commission, said that most teachers worked a total of about 60 hours per week.
Teachers' maximum salaries are VND3.5 million (US$167) per month at the primary to high school level, and a maximum of VND5.1 million ($243) per month for lecturers at universities.
Education had not yet become the Government's top national policy, Hung said.
Professor Tran Thanh Dam said that Viet Nam should learn from other countries like Japan.
Japanese teachers' salaries are nearly 15 per cent higher than salaries received by people with the same level of education.
A newly graduating teacher's salary in Japan is US$1,300 per month and includes 12 other allowances. Salaries are raised once every two years, he said.
Dam said the Government should create a pilot programme that would offer a basic salary plus allowances for extra work. Additional pay would also be influenced by students' evaluations of teachers.
The country has 1.029 million teachers from kindergarten through the high school level.
The number of kindergarten, primary and secondary teachers rose nearly 0.5 times from 2001 to 2011, two times at the high school level, and 1.9 times at the university level.
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