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Teacher shortages and surpluses: who is to blame?

The Ministry of Education and Training has reported a shortage of 76,000 teachers nationwide. Primary schools in HCMC complain they are overloaded. And at many secondary schools, teachers sit idle.
VietNamNet Bridge - The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has reported a shortage of 76,000 teachers nationwide. Primary schools in HCMC complain they are overloaded. And at many secondary schools, teachers sit idle.


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By August 15, 2018, the country had 1,161,143 teachers working in preschools and general schools, including more than 1 million teachers at state-owned schools.

After receiving additional recruitment quota, the schools still lack 75,989 teachers, including 43,732 at preschools, 18,953 at primary, 10,143 at secondary and 3,162 at high schools.

The issue is primarily in secondary education, with too many teachers in some subjects and localities, but deficient in others.

Suffering from a lack of students, some localities have decided to break regulations by recruiting more teachers than allowed. Krong Pak district of Dak Lak province, Ca Mau, Thanh Oai district in Hanoi, Phu Yen, Quang Ngai and some other provinces have not observed current regulations in recruiting workers.

MOET’s leaders said the problem was that local authorities were allowed to recruit civil servants for schools prior to 2015. 

Due to the problems in labor force forecasting, in many localities, more teachers than required were employed, while in other localities, there was a shortage.

Since 2011, semi-state owned schools no longer exist. A high number of teachers from semi-state owned schools have become official servants and receive salaries from the state budget.

Also according to MOET, the number of teachers has been increasing rapidly in large cities and industrial areas because of the increase in population. 

The implementation of the law on universalizing preschool education for 5-year-old children is another important reason that has led to the increase in number of teachers. 

Under current regulations, MOET doesn’t have the right to employ workers. The only thing it can do is estimate the number of teachers that schools need and make a proposal to the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval.

As the number of preschool students has increased, the number of teachers also needs to rise proportionally. 

MOET has been advised to appoint civil servants to the teaching posts from other schools, or other provinces, or shift them to other subjects to settle the problems. 

In reply, the ministry said it is impossible to ask teachers of physics to shift to literature, and ask secondary school teachers to work at primary schools, because of the difference in requirements.

An analyst commented that to settle the current problem, it is necessary to give MOET more recruitment power. It is MOET which can best understand the demand for teachers, and only the ministry knows how many teachers schools need to employ.

However, under current regulations, MOET doesn’t have the right to employ workers. The only thing it can do is estimate the number of teachers that schools need and make a proposal to the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval.


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