Feb 2, 2013

Vietnam - Number of pedagogical schools on the rise, training quality on the decrease

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VietNamNet Bridge – A lot of schools enroll students for pedagogical training majors, but not all of them can produce qualified teachers.

Dr. Hoang Van Can, Vice President of the HCM City University of Education, has raised his concern about the mushrooming of pedagogical schools and the low training quality of the schools.

“As far as I see, one and all rush to provide pedagogical major training. I have to remind you that we are training teachers, not doing water hyacinth in the wartime,” Can said.

“We must not allow all schools to enroll students to train teachers. Schools must meet some certain requirements to be able to provide training. It’s necessary to find out why so many pedagogical schools have been set up,” he added.

The educator went on to say that it’s necessary to clarify the functions of pedagogical schools. In many cases, local junior colleges (3-year training) have been upgraded into interdisciplinary schools, but they cannot enroll students for pedagogical manors.

Therefore, it would be better to assign tasks to every school. For example, central schools need to focus on training teachers to provide to junior colleges, vocational schools or on high quality training. Meanwhile, local pedagogical schools should focus on creating the labor force for the localities.

Especially, Dr. Can emphasized that schools need to be given the right to enroll students themselves. “Under the current mechanism, it happened that a lot of students registered to study literature, but they got only three or four marks for literature from the university entrance exams. We have to accept the students, but we know it would be very difficult to train them into good literature teachers,” he said.

Nguyen Xuan Ngoc, Director of the Lam Dong provincial Education and Training Department, agrees with Dr. Can that the existence of too many pedagogical schools cannot ensure the high quality of graduates.

In principle, all the students finishing pedagogical schools can apply for the jobs of teachers at local schools. However, Ngoc said that the graduates from prestigious schools would be preferable.

Phan Van Dung, Deputy Director of the Khanh Hoa provincial Education and Training Department, also said he can see the problems in the qualification of graduates.

He said that the education department has received 600 applications for jobs, of which 100 candidates showed the degrees at an “excellent” level.” However, the problem was that none of them was from prestigious pedagogical schools.

“We sent some candidates who had “excellent degrees” to the schools for the gifted, but they have met a lot of difficulties over the last two years of teaching. We have informed them that if they cannot do well, the education department would refuse to sign the labor contracts with them,” he said.

Officials from local education departments, as the employers, have complained about the pedagogical ability of candidates.

Dung from Khanh Hoa said the education department has requested to check the pedagogical ability of all people applying for teaching jobs. Currently, one just needs to attend short term training courses to obtain pedagogical certificates to be eligible for teaching job. Especially, there have been the training courses which last only one month, the time not long enough for learners to receive basic knowledge.

The Ministry of Education and Training has recently stated that it would reconsider the program of training teachers in the 2012-2013 academic year.


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