It seems that this year's students have yet to develop a taste for foreign languages, primarily English. Statistically, there exists a truth that more students in inner cities scored better marks in English test than their peers in outlying districts in the national high school exams this year.
Amongst schools, the school for gifted students under the management of the Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City leads the country with more students scoring 8.58 in the English test. Followed by Tran Dai Nghia High School for the gifted students and Le Hong Phong with average English score of 8.46 and 8.31.
On the contrary, students of a school in Can Gio outlying district had lowest English marks in the subject with average score of 2.69m.
A teacher of a school in suburban district said that quality of teaching and learning English in outlying districts is very poor. Many schools in these disadvantaged district have not been able to recruit English teachers for years plus labs are not well equipped.
Students in Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s commercial center, achieved the highest average foreign language score with 5.84, according to the Ministry of Education and Training’s statistics. However, the number of students with lower score of 1.0 increased by 1.3 times compared to 2019.
After the announcement of test rests of the national high school graduation exams last year, the Ministry of education and Training has organized a discussion to find out solution for enhancing English teaching and learning quality.
Discussion participants said that teacher quality is not the same between schools in big cities and in outlying districts because good teachers tended to flock to work in big cities.
Lately, Deputy Director of Education and Training Department in HCMC Doan Van Hieu said at a meeting between delegates from the national assembly and the Department upon the implementation of the new curriculum said that English and IT will be mandatory subjects for third graders while they are elective for first and second graders.
Schools have been facing difficulties in recruiting English teacher for complicated regulations. For instance, district 11 needs 21 English teachers for the academic year 2019-2020 but there was no applicants while the applicant in Binh Tan District quitted the job.
Public high school managers have been moaning about difficulties in recruiting English teachers v because teachers have been attracted by non-public schools which have been offering higher salary.
At a meeting to review what had done for the school year 2019-2020 and implementation of new task for the new school year, Education Minister Phung Xuan Nha affirmed that one of significant task of the new school year is improving English teaching and learning to ensure most of third graders can study the foreign language and some other subjects will be taught in English as per Vietnamese Prime Minister.
Accordingly, the education sector will strengthen training to teachers as well as IT application in teaching and learning English as per the project “Teaching and learning English in the national education system for the period 2017-2025”.
Vietnam ranks 31st among 72 countries in the world and seventh among 19 Asian countries in English proficiency, according to the latest annual English Proficiency Index released this week by the Swiss Education First (EF), a global language training company. From 2012 to 2014, the country was classed among a group of countries with “low level” English skills, but has moved up to a “moderate level.”