The top education official in HCMC says it is facing a serious shortage of teachers in several subjects, especially English and art.
Nguyễn Văn Hiếu, director of the HCM City Department of Education and Training, said at a recent meeting held at the Saigon University that the number of teachers for several subjects does not meet minimum requirements.
Even though Saigon University has trained teachers for the new general education program since 2018, high schools in the city need art teachers to teach two classes per week, he said.
Hiếu stressed the importance of forming a new human resource base for subjects that many students wish to learn.
“It is necessary to recruit more teachers so that students can choose subjects based on real needs. Students currently have no choice but ‘eating’ what is available on the ‘menu’,” Hiếu said, adding that for a big city such as HCM City, students should be able to access comprehensive development.
Lương Thị Hồng Điệp, head of the Preschool Education Unit under the municipal education department, said many foreign teachers lack essential skills to manage young students though they have certificates in teaching English.
Providing these English teachers with short-term pedagogy courses is crucial for them to acquire the skills needed to handle preschool classes efficiently, she said.
In addition to English teachers, professional team leaders in private classes and support staff also need further training, Điệp said, adding that the importance of courses that teach management skills to teachers who wish to become managers should be emphasized.
Hồng Lãm Thuý, head of the department’s Primary Education Unit, said that there was a serious shortage of teachers in English, art and music.
Thuý suggested that Sài Gòn University increases the development target of these faculties to meet the demand for teachers in middle and high schools.
Phạm Hoàng Quân, principal of Saigon University, spoke about difficulties in enrollment and employment of students in some pedagogical disciplines.
“Though Saigon University is the only university in HCM City that offers fine arts pedagogy training, it continues failing to meet enrollment quotas. Meanwhile, students taking part in music programs do not choose to teach. Instead they look to pursue a singing career after graduation,” Quân said.
He said many English teachers prefer working in foreign language centres because of higher income.
Quân suggested hiring art teachers who can teach in many schools at the same time.
“Recruiting inter-school teachers may be the immediate solution.” he said.
Recruiting teachers to work in an area instead of an individual school is also a solution, agreed Hiếu. However, it would be challenging to select the school that would be in charge of paying and conducting necessary paperwork for teachers, he noted.
In response to the education department’s request, Saigon University aims to recruit new students for computer science pedagogy in the near future.
At the meeting, the department and the university signed a comprehensive cooperation program agreement for the 2022-2027 five-year period.