The announcement was made by Minister Phung Xuan Nha at a recent meeting with relevant agencies in Hanoi, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, to change managerial mechanisms and re-arrange the schooling system in the country.
Nha also said the ministry would pilot the issuance of fixed-term labour contracts for teachers, rather than keeping permanent staff as present.
According to Nha, issuing fixed-term labour contracts would create more competition among talented teachers.
It is also believed that this would lay the foundations for the socialisation of education - meaning that people would be encouraged to help develop the education system, he said.
There would be no distinction between public and private schools, only the quality of education and teaching standards would be used in the assessment of schools, he added.
“The aim of all of this is to improve the quality of the nation’s education system,” he said, adding “It is actually not in order to cut permanent staff or save money.”
Also at the meeting, Nha said the ministry would reform the country’s university system. Currently, universities are scattered in different areas. Thus, the education ministry would gradually set up clusters of universities, classified under the major of training. Of course, the re-arrangement would be undertaken in a flexible manner, depending on the current infrastructure of each locality.
The Ministry of Construction has finished a set of criteria to be adhered to before setting up these clusters, he added.
Nguyen Huu Do, head of Hanoi’s Education and Training Department said recruiting teachers following the demands of schools would help improve the quality of education.
However, the proposal has caused concern for some teachers.
Ly Thi My Linh, a teacher at Quang Trung secondary school in the central province of Quang Nam said “Teachers often wish to become permanent staff.”
“This pretty much guarantees you a secure job with social benefits and means you have less chance of being fired,” she said.
Le Nhat Tien, a primary school teacher from the southern province of Kien Giang, said recruiting teachers following the demand of schools might be a good solution while the number of teachers in the country was constantly increasing, regardless of the Government’s downsizing policy.
However, he worried about the policy of permanent staff being removed because now, although the Government salary for teachers was not enough to cover daily expenses, teachers still have allowances.
If the policy of permanent staff is removed, it means that the allowances will also disappear. The burden of earning a living will be exhausting for teachers, and they have less time to devote to their students, he said.
Le Huyen Trang, a primary teacher from Hanoi’s Soc Son district said the proposal is good as it will foster more competition between teachers.
“But who will ensure that negative issues are limited, like taking and giving bribes to become a permanent employee,” she said.
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said the project is important in the reformation of education and training.
He ordered the ministry to review and set up clusters of schools in areas that have good transport links. Hue said “This is a unique opportunity for the national education sector to change and develop.”