Many rural areas like Nghe An province have announced multiple programs to attract talented individuals to return. Very few qualified people have been welcomed with good opportunities. They come and go after a brief period.
Nguyen Trong Hung, a senior official at Nghe An Department of Interior Affairs, commented that students from Nghe An do not return to find jobs because they have nowhere to return.
Hung noted that positions have been reserved for relatives of high- ranking officials. Qualified officers weary easily because they are not respected in their home province, so they leave sooner or later.
|Phan Thi Canh is now working for Vietnam Airlines|
A professor’s tiny income
Provincial authorities offer yearly allowances of 40 million dong to professors, 30 million dong to associate professors with doctoral degrees and 20 million dong to Master’s degree-holders and excellent students. Those who work in mountainous areas receive 5-8 million dong more.
Professor of literature, Le Thanh Nga, born in 1976 in Nghe An province, is the only doctorate-holder to return to his home village for a job. This comes 10 years after authorities established policies to attract talented individuals.
With a Ph.D., Nga has been assigned as editor of Song Lam journal, published by the Nghe An Literature and Arts Society. This is not a difficult job for Nga, because there is only one issue every two months, but the job really does not fit him.
When he took the job, he received a yearly salary of 30 million dong from the provincial authorities, and now he earns 1.9 million dong a month, an income so small that it cannot cover his family’s basic needs and debts.
Nga revealed that, in order to earn enough money to feed himself, his wife and small child, he has to take on extra jobs. He writes articles for local journals, guides students to write Master’s theses and he teaches extra classes.
We want to come home!
In 2009, Nguyen Ngoc Duong of Nghe An province graduated from Hue University of Education. Although an excellent student who received first prize in the physics Olympiad competition, Duong was refused by all schools in Nghe An. Duong was later employed by a private school in Yen Thanh district.
Phan Thi Canh, another superior student, graduated from Hanoi Economics University. She could not find a position in her home province of Nghe An either. Canh applied to the Nghe An Planning and Investment Department, but they never replied even though the department announced a recruitment plan.
Canh's story was reported in the newspapers and Nghe An leaders ordered the Nghe An Planning and Investment Department to join forces with the provincial Department of Interior Affairs to investigate.
Since that time, however, Canh has been recruited by Vietnam National Airlines Corporation. She will not return to Nghe An.
In the last 10 years since Nghe An has called on talented graduates to return home, the province has attracted one doctoral degree-holder, 19 Master’s recipients and 41 university graduates.