Teacher shortages likely to scupper new English classes

The national plan to require at least 20 percent of third graders to study English is feasible in some areas, but mandating a higher percentage in later years will be difficult to achieve, administrators said.

The national plan to require at least 20 percent of third graders to study English is feasible in some areas because of lacking English-language teachers. (Photo: Mai Hai/SGGP)

According to the Ministry of Education and Training, the plan will be implemented this upcoming school year, and in the 2015-16 academic year, the ratio will grow to 70 percent, and in 2018-19, to 100 percent of all third graders.

Third graders will be required to take four English sessions per week.

Le Ngoc Diep, head of the HCM City Department of Education and Training's Primary Education Office, said the city could reach the rate of 20 percent of third graders in the 2010-11 school year.

Howeve, achieving a 70 percent rate in 2015-2016 and 100 percent in 2018-19 will be unrealistic because there will be not enough English-language teachers.

Le Minh Hoang, head of the Department of Education and Training in Dong Nai Province , said that primary schools there face a shortage of English teachers and will find it difficult to fill posts.

Province authorities said that this year they will allow the department to transfer English teachers who work at secondary schools to primary schools. But this would solve the shortage in the province's central areas only.

Tran Trong Khiem, head of the Department of Education and Training in Can Tho City, said many English teachers had quit their posts for a variety of reasons, including low salaries.

Diep said schools faced other problems, including finding more classrooms and space for the new compulsory English sessions. The maximum number of students in each class is 35.

Source: VietnamPlus

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