Pedagogy schools find it hard to attract more students though the government has made considerable efforts to lure good students including tuition fee exemption.
According to the Government’s Decree 116, students in pedagogy schools will receive an amount of VND3.63 million per month as living expense from November 2020. Thus, in addition to total tuition fee exemption, students in special schools currently receive the most preferential treatment; however, few good students refused to enroll into pedagogy schools.
|Students of a pedagogy school in break time. (Photo: SGGP)|
According to the Ministry of Education and Training’s statistics on enrollment results in 2020, enrollment of pedagogy has 35,936 students enrolled, accounting for 62.58 percent whereas it is 27,373 candidates including three-year college and two -year schools in 2019 accounting for 52.97 percent. Roughly 28,314 candidates entered universities accounting for 64.78 percent; 7,662 candidates enrolled in three-year colleges making up 52.02 percent while it was 8,537 candidates, achieving 46.12 percent in 2019.
The enrollment results for pedagogy in 2018 showed that the total enrollment quota decreased by 38 percent compared to 2017. Specifically, the total quota for pedagogical schools was 35,590, the number of the national high school exam results was 24,369, down 22.8 percent compared to 2017 and other modes is 11,221 down 55.3 percent. Just 125,261 students applied for pedagogical schools in the year, a decrease of 29 percent compared to 2017.
According to experts, the results of enrollment in pedagogy have declined since 2018 due to the Ministry of Education and Training’s regulations on floor qualifying scores to ensure the quality of input. This is a solution to prevent rampant training far from the forecast and low qualifying scores into pedagogy schools.
In 2020, the Ministry of Education and Training allowed schools with pedagogy department to directly admit students with good academic performance plus an amount of VND3.63 million monthly each student as living expense, but the approach is still useless in attracting good students into pedagogy schools. Just a few schools nationwide including Hanoi Pedagogical University, Hanoi Pedagogical University 2, Hue University of Pedagogy, Danang Pedagogical University, Ho Chi Minh University of Pedagogy have seen high admission.
The remaining pedagogy universities in different localities have bumped into difficulties in enrollment. Many pedagogy schools’ departments such as computer, chemistry, biology, history, geography have seen lower enrollment quotas. It is worth mentioning that in addition to admission by high school exam academic scores, schools also use their own enrollment approaches, but still have to additionally admit up to 50 percent - 60 percent of the quota; sadly, only a few candidates agreed to enroll into these above-mentioned majors.
Basic policy needed
Chairman of the Council of the University of Pedagogy of Ho Chi Minh City Dr. Nguyen Minh Hong said that the open admission will create conditions for pedagogical schools to attract more excellent and qualified students. Moreover, the absence of intermediate training, restriction on college training (from 2020 only preschool teacher faculty) means reduction of the number of enrolled students plus quality improvement; thereby, increasing job opportunities for students in pedagogy schools. Although there have been considerable changes in salary policy for teachers, it still needs more attention and improvement to attract good students in the long run.
Incentives on tuition fees and living expense grants for pedagogical students should be associated with the provisions of jobs after graduation, reasonable salary, good working conditions for teachers to encourage teachers’ devotion to their profession.
Associate Professor, Dr. My Giang Son, former Head of Training Department of Saigon University, said that the Ministry of Education and Training’s announcement of floor scores resulted in the schools’ strong quota cut in a bid to recruit good students for the sector. However, the underlying problem is still employment and income of students after graduation. Accordingly, it is necessary to adopt synchronous solutions, in which employment and salary issues for the pedagogy must be significantly improved. At that time, good students will certainly enroll into pedagogy schools.
Many students studying pedagogy at the University of Pedagogy of Ho Chi Minh City said that after the school announced a financial grant of VND3.63 million per month, the students were very excited. However, students fretted about employment opportunities after graduating from school or else their families have to spend money bribing to have good jobs. If the State commits to provide a jobs after graduation, students’ burden will be less.
While pedagogy schools are facing difficulties in enrollment, hundreds of teachers under the contract are at risk of being fired in cities and provinces across the country. For instance, the Department of Education and Training in the Mekong Delta Province of Ca Mau announced to terminate contracts with more than 1,400 teachers. Beforehand, more than 500 teachers were laid off in the Highlands Province of in Dak Lak. In the South-Central Province of Ninh Thuan, out of 140 pedagogical bachelors who receives 50 percent exemption of tuition fees at the University of Pedagogy of Ho Chi Minh City, 80 of them are employed while the rest are unemployed, and their degrees were detained. Worse, 51 teachers in Phu Yen Province who were fired with different reasons decided to take legal action against the school.
Under the current regulation, even professors and associate professors who have been giving lectures for tens of years have to receive training in pedagogical skills.
Unreasonable recruitment methods and low pay has made it difficult for schools to recruit teachers of English.