New English teaching program to be implemented in HCMC schools

The Department of Education and Training in Ho Chi Minh City has just announced a new English teaching program, a replacement for the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) from the academic year of 2014 – 2015.

Le Hong Son, deputy head of the Department of Education and Training, said that the advance-standard program is developed by Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training and the UK’s Department for Education within the framework of the project on adjusting teaching and learning the subjects of mathematics, science and English.

The new program can be taught in all classes in high schools and offers more observation of teachers’ skills and training quality. Students’ ability will be qualified by tests provided by SAT Practice Tests based on the UK’s education standards of three subjects.

In addition, the new program meets all standards of testing standards in the global that will offer opportunities for students when they can attend graduating examinations with any international standard.

Accordingly, elementary and middle schools in Ho Chi Minh City will stop their enrollment for the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). The Cambridge IGCSE program was piloted in the southern city in 2008. It is now attracting 4,800 students studying with the program in 27 elementary and senior high schools around the city, said Le Hong Son.

However, the Department has decided to stop the program as it is just a pilot program. Moreover, Cambridge University strictly requires good facility, teachers and curriculum which many schools can’t satisfy.

Students who are studying in the Cambridge IGCSE program are still able to finish their curriculum as scheduled until 2018 to protect students’ benefit.

Many reporters queried why the pause of the old program will directly influence students’ studying and the new program will be a pilot project.

Le Hong Son said that the new program has been studied for over three years and it is qualified by experts. The Department of Education and Training decided to choose EMG Education Company as accredited partner as EMG has qualified teachers.

The program will be pilot program first; therefore, classes will be open upon parents’ demand. Students attending the programs each pay a monthly tuition of US$150.

The Department will provide training to Vietnamese teachers who will replace foreign teachers in order to reduce tuition fee.

By Khanh Binh – Translated by Uyen Phuong

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