Nguyen Ba Minh who heads the Department of Early Childhood Education (ECED) under the Ministry of Education and Training said that though more nursery facilities have been opened in districts with industrial and export processing zones, the sector has not satisfied increasing demand because of population explosion.
Early childhood education is a must. However, in HCMC’s 17 operating industrial and export processing parks, 44 state-run and 100 privately-run kindergartens are keeping workers’ children. Critical shortage of nursery schools results in household nursery establishments with untrained teachers.
Investor cum Principal of Nam Long School in District 7 Lu Thi Dong said that a pedagogy graduate receives salary of VND5 million (US$ 215) a month; low salary has not kept teachers who want to move to other profession to make more money.
Teacher shortage clouds school year. According to the latest statistics of the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), 17 cities and provinces still lack nearly 20,973 nursery teachers.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Home Affairs has lately allowed to recruit additional 20,300 preschool teachers in 19 cities and provinces to tackle the critical shortage of teachers for the area.
Another problem is that there is a big gap between tuition fee between state-run and privately-run facilities. For instance, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, non-public schools collect much higher tuition fee than public ones.
Preschools in export processing zones and industrial parks in HCM City need better support from the city and enterprises.
The new Law of Education was approved this year with some amendments especially preferential policies for setting up preschools in districts with industrial parks and for teachers’ salaries and bonus.
In addition to above-mentioned solutions, Professor Dang Thi Le Xuan from the National Economics University in Hanoi said that it is needed to appeal social contributions for building nursery schools in districts with industrial and export processing parks.
Presently, the Ministry of Education and Training is working with competent agencies to make full and detailed policies towards preschool development in industrial and export processing parks including pregnancy policies for female teachers according to participants’ opinions.
Furthermore, local administrations should make a housing plan for migrant workers and networks of nursery schools as well as allocation of state budget for building facilities in these special zones.
According to the Vietnam Labor Union, of 2.8 million workers are employed in 260 industrial parks and export processing zones in the country, 70 percent of them are female workers in the reproductive age.