Nov 8, 2012

Vietnam - The tragicomedy in Ha Tinh: teachers abundant, students deficient

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VietNamNet Bridge – Eighteen teachers serve 25 students at a school in the central province of Ha Tinh. Another school only has three students. An English teacher is now in charge of physical education.

Primary, secondary, vocational centers and continuation schools in Ha Tinh province are seriously lacking students.

The Quang Dien Secondary School in Huong Quang commune of Vu Quang district now only has 25 students, while there are 13 teachers and five officers.

The most crowded class here at the school only has nine students. The classrooms still open every morning to receive students, even though there are only two students in a class.

Mai Anh Duc, Headmaster of the Quang Dien Secondary School said that the school still has to maintain the two-student class, because the students have the right to go to school. Meanwhile, it is impossible to merge the two students into another due to the education level differences.

Duc said that local residents in Huong Quang and Huong Dien communes have to leave the homeland to give site for the Ngan Truoi – Cam Trang hydropower plant project. Since the households have left for settling in the new land, the number of students going to local schools has dropped dramatically.

The Ministry of Education and Training stipulates that 1.45 teachers for one class is the standard ratio. Meanwhile, at the Quang Dien School, the ratio is 3.1.

The Huong Quang and Huong Dien Primary Schools are facing the same problem. The Huong Quang school branch in Kim Quang hamlet has 52 students and five teachers, but the school branch in Kim Tho hamlet only has 32 students, but has 13 teachers.

Only 19 students go to the Huong Dien Primary School, but there are 10 teachers, who teach the classes with just two or three students in each.

The situation proves to be more serious at vocational schools and continuation education schools with the number of teachers higher than the number of students.

The Hong Linh Vocational and Continuation School only has two continuing education classes this academic year, including one class for 10th graders and another for 12th graders. There is no class for 11th graders, because the school could not enroll any 10th grader last year.

The number of students for vocational training system is a bit higher, about 100 students who have been taken care of by 20 teachers.

The Duc Tho district’s vocational and continuing education center this year can enroll three students only, while four students were admitted to the school last year. Meanwhile, there are 14 teachers here.

Chau Quoc Sy, Director of the center, said that the school still runs if there is still demand. What will happen with the 20 teachers of the school, who receive salaries from the State budget, if the school shuts down?

Sy has admitted that it is a big waste to keep 20 teachers and maintain the two modern training campuses worth tens of billions of dong just to serve seven learners. However, he said, the school does not have many choices at this moment.

Reports say there are 700 redundant teachers in Ha Tinh province. However, teachers are still lacking somewhere. As a result, English teacher has been assigned to be in charge of physical education, mathematics teachers have to give technology lessons.

D. Tuan – T.Van – X.Sinh

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