Education Ministry says general school teachers must have foreign language, IT skills
Teachers must have good foreign language skills
The standards for general education teachers set by MOET have faced opposition from education experts and teachers.
To be able to get a ‘good’ grade, teachers need to meet a lot of standards, including those on foreign language skills. They have to be able to write and present simple texts about familiar topics in their teaching activities in foreign languages (English is preferable).
Headmaster of the Dinh Tien Hoang High School in Hanoi, Nguyen Tung Lam, commented that this is a modern policy, and that if teachers can satisfy the requirement, the education quality will improve significantly. However, he said there always exists a big gap between desire and capability.
“The standardization of the teaching and learning of English at universities and junior colleges still cannot be applied, let alone general education,” he said.
Lam said that there should be a roadmap and a plan for teachers to improve their foreign language. “It is necessary to standardize the teachers of English first, and then the teachers of other subjects,” he said.
Pedagogical school students should be required to have foreign language skills at some certain levels to be able to graduate from schools. Another solution is that pedagogical schools set requirements on foreign language skills on input students.
Tran Xuan Nhi, former Deputy Minister of Education and Training, also commented that the requirement is high for general school teachers, especially older teachers who were trained many years ago under the old regime.
In order to improve teachers’ English skills, it is necessary to apply comprehensive measures at the same time.
Pedagogical school students, for example, should be required to have foreign language skills at some certain levels to be able to graduate from schools. Another solution is that pedagogical schools set requirements on foreign language skills on input students.
“In a word, teachers’ foreign language skills cannot be improved overnight, and It will take a long process to reach that goal,” Nhi commented.
Lam agrees that that teachers need to be trained well when they are at pedagogical schools, so as to be sure that pedagogical schools only produce high-quality teachers.
A high school teacher in Hanoi, when asked about the new standards for general education teachers, said the majority of teachers will not be able to satisfy the requirement.
“High requirements are set on teachers, but very low pay is offered,” he said. “With the starvation wage, schools won’t be able to employ high-quality teachers.”
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