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Thanh Hoa schools face English teacher shortage

Many parents have filed complaints about the fact that English isn’t taught at 11 public primary schools in Thanh Hoa Province despite it being a main subject.

Cong Binh Primary School
Cong Binh Primary School

According to the parents in Cong Binh, Cong Chinh, Cong Liem and Yen My communes, English hasn’t been taught at many schools for years. Many worry that their children will be behind other pupils, especially during the era of information and technology. 10 out of 11 those schools are national standard schools.

Tran The Dinh, headmaster of Cong Binh Primary School, said they were severely lacking English teachers. “We don’t know what to do. We’ve reported to district authorities and asked for more English teachers every year but the responses remain the same, there’s no quota left for the district.”

Cong Binh Primary School hired an English teacher for the 2017-2018 school year and met the national standards but the teacher quit after it was recognised as a national standard school.

Vu Xuan Tin, deputy headmaster of Yen My Primary School, said many parents had come and expressed willingness to pay for English teachers but the problem is out their hands.

Statistics from the Department of Education and Training in Cong Nong District show that there are 67 English teachers for secondary schools. The district has 35 primary schools and 11 schools still lack English teachers.

The department head, Nguyen Van Binh, said, “It’s because the workforce is being reduced so schools are not allowed to hire more teachers. We have to prioritise the secondary schools.”

Binh admitted that they deliberately allowed schools to temporarily hire English teachers from other schools to be recognised as a national standard school. After filing reports multiple times, they were able to ask for nine more English teachers for the 2018-2019 school year.

According to Thanh Hoa Department of Education and Training, it lacked up to 258 English teachers during the 2017-2018 school year for schools in mountainous areas and several schools in the delta region.