Hoang Duc Minh, director of the Teachers and Educational Managers Department under the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), talks to Vietnamnet e-newspaper about staff for the new school year and their salary policy.
|A teacher cleans her classroom at the Ngoc Son Primary School in the central province of Ha Tinh. — VNA/VNS Photo Cong Tuong|
What is the situation with staffing levels in education at present?
The number of teachers is inadequate. Especially, preschool education lacks more than 45,000 teachers.
To ensure teaching quality, the educational sector continues to cooperate with localities to resolve the problem with different measures.
Minister of Education and Training Phùng Xuân Nhạ sent a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) a week ago about the lack of teachers. The MoHA will have to put forward measures for the problem, especially in poor remote areas and industrial zones. The work will be done gradually.
Will the MoET use contract teachers to cope with the shortage?
The MoET’s instruction this year is ensuring the Government’s regulations and resolutions, especially the amended Resolution 161 about enrolling and using permanent workers. Thus, this school year, the MoET will stop using contract teachers.
Localities should come up with measures to resolve teachers signing contracts in previous years. They must have preferential policies for teachers working under contracts for a long time and with good abilities.
In the process of stopping signing contracts with teachers, provinces and cities must care about their contributions to the educational sector, especially during difficult periods.
How are policies for teachers changing after the amended Law on Education?
The amended Law on Education will be put into effect on July 1 next year. The educational sector has already conducted preparations for the amended law. Polices for teaching staff will see significant changes.
First are improvements to teachers’ qualifications. Teachers for preschool education must have at least a college qualification whereas teachers for secondary schools and high schools must have at least university qualifications.
The MoET has plans to give further training for teachers if they do not meet the requirements. It’s a problem for the educational sector, because teachers will have to teach and study at the same time. The country has about 1.3 million teachers, but about 400,000-500,000 need further training.
It’s scheduled that by April next year, the MoET will issue a decree on re-training teachers to meet the demand of the amended Law on Education.
Second, professional norms for teachers and managers will be made into laws. Earlier, the norms were not clearly mentioned in regulations.
Third, salary and allowance will be designed to be suitable to the Party’s demand, instructions and resolutions.
What is the new payroll for teachers?
Teachers’ new payroll will be based on their qualifications, position and their career. It will be increased.
Regarding preferential allowance, the MoET is compiling regulations, and the maximum will be 30 per cent of their salary.
There will not be a seniority allowance. Teachers will be assessed for their ability, which means they won’t get a higher allowance if they are older.
Draft regulations are being compiled and will be submitted to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc this month.
So will the gap in pay between new teachers and old ones be closed?
The gap is being calculated. The sector will not have seniority allowance, which is a difference between new and old teachers at present. When we close it, the gap between new and old ones will not exist, or will be narrowed via preferential allowances.
It will not affect the salaries of older teachers, but new teachers’ salaries will be improved.
Overall, all will get a higher salary, but the gap between old and new teachers will be narrowed to resolve several inadequacies.
Teachers believe that if they do more work, their salary will increase. Is that correct?
The educational sector ordered the National Economics University to conduct research to re-design teachers’ working pattern.
Specifically, each teacher must work based on the new teaching curriculum. We will have an exact number of teachers for each class. If the number is more than at present, we will reduce staff, and if the number is less, we will employ more teachers. The research will be completed by the end of this year.
This does not mean that teachers will get higher salaries for more work. It means that we will employ more people if needed. Salary will be based on work and qualifications.