Nov 23, 2012

Vietnam - Official teachers cannot be tutors, but students can

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VietNamNet Bridge – The Hanoi Education and Training Department has applied drastic measures to prohibit official teachers to run after-school hour extra classes. This has given more job opportunities to tutoring centers.

Nguyen Thi Hien, whose child goes to the Yen Hoa Primary School in Cau Giay district in Hanoi, complained that she has to move heaven and earth these days to look for a tutor for her child.

Previously, the boy went to the extra class run by his teacher after the school hours. However, the class has been closed following a decision by the city’s education department to tighten the control over private tutoring classes.

While many other parents don’t want to let their children to attend extra classes, because hard learning would make students overloaded, Hien has been insisting that her child needs to be tutored by someone.

“There are 60 students in a class, which makes it unable for the teacher to take care for all. Therefore, my child needs to attend extra classes, where he can ask the teacher about the things he still doesn’t understand,” Hien explained.

Pham Hong, a parent in Dong Da district in Hanoi, also said he is looking for a tutor for his son, a third grader.

“Students nowadays have to compete fiercely with each other for the seats at star schools. If your child doesn’t attend extra classes to practice exercises, he would not be able to be admitted to such schools,” Hong said.

Giving private tutoring after school hours has been criticized as an “evil” in the society. In many cases, students are forced to attend the classes run by their teachers, or they would get bad marks for school works.

However, the decision by the Hanoi education department to prohibit teachers to run their own extra classes has not been applauded by Hanoi’s parents.

A woman whose son goes to the Den Lu Primary School in Hoang Mai district, said students have real demand for attending extra classes after school hours. She said the education department needs to take action to control the private tutoring, but its latest decision is not a perfect measure to settle the current problem.

She went on to say that it would be better to apply technical solutions to ease wrongdoings instead of banning.

Tutoring centers prosper

Since teachers are not allowed to run extra classes, students now go to tutoring centers which have been mushrooming in Hanoi.

The tutors working for the centers are mostly the university students, who give lessons after the school hours to earn their living.

Thu Hien, who runs a tutoring center on Chua Lang Street in Dong Da district, said that the center has received more orders from parents recently. The requests from parents are diversified: they need tutors not only for secondary or high school students, but also for second or third graders as well.

“Since the demand is very high, our tutors have a lot of jobs to take,” Hien said, adding that urbanites all want their children to learn with tutors to improve their knowledge.

However, since the demand is too high, the quality of tutors remains problematic. Tutoring centers now tend to recruit workers in masses, without the requirements on the qualifications and pedagogical degrees.

A student from the journalist school said that she has found a part time job as a tutor from a center. “I was told that I should introduce myself as a student of a pedagogical school, not of the journalist school,” she said.


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