VietNamNet Bridge – Running after profit, regardless of the training quality--is the “motto” of many foreign language centers in HCM City.
Foreign language centers cries wine and sell vinegar
“X”, former headmaster of a foreign language chain located on February 3 Road in District 10, said that most of the existing foreign language centers are running after profits. If investors inject one dong in investment, they want to earn two dong in profits. Therefore, the centers have to use every tricks they can to attract and retain students. They also try to invent different kinds of fee in order to collect as much money from students as possible.
X said that in case the profits are not as high as expected, they would truncate the training curriculums, reduce the teaching hours of foreign teachers to cut down expenses and shorten the training duration.
Teaching perfunctorily to retain learners
“C”, a teacher, who once taught at D Foreign Language center, said that every teacher was told by the owners of foreign language centers to try to retain learners, because when learners keep studying at the centers, they would keep paying money to the centers.
Therefore, no teacher works at his full capacity at the centers. No one gives students detailed explanations, so that students can understand thoroughly. Of course, no teacher would show students the secret for learning foreign languages well.
According to C, a learner at primary level needs six months only to learn to communicate if he has a good learning method and he can learn with a good teacher. However, with the teaching method applied by the center, learners would not be able to communicate, even though they learn here for one year.
According to a teacher, who once taught at a center in district 8, the center would make profit when it just needs to use 80 percent of room capacity and it has 15-20 learners for every classroom. Meanwhile, the center still put 30-40 students into a classroom.
In principle, learners are required to do a test before going to class. However, the tests are just organized for the form’s sake. Even if learners cannot meet the requirements, they would be still allowed to move up to the higher level, provided that they keep going to the center and keeping paying money.
C said that she knows a lot of people, who once worked as officers for the foreign language centers, but they later left the centers and set up new centers of their own, because they well know how big the profits the centers can bring.
It is quite easy and simple to establish foreign language centers. One would be able to set up a center within 30 days, after he can prove that the center has sufficient conditions to run, including classrooms, teaching aids, financial capability, and teaching staff.
An officer of a foreign language center said that every center just needs to have one reception room and seven classrooms to be eligible for obtaining an operation license. Especially, one can see on some websites that there are the units which provide the services of obtaining licenses for foreign language centers at the fee of 1.5 million dong.
How foreign language centers run?
Teachers at the foreign language centers complain that they always feel pressure when working for the centers. They do not have insurance policies, and they are always in the danger of being sacked, if the number of learners of the centers decreases.
Meanwhile, consultancy officers of the centers complain that they have been put under pressure from the board of management. They need to seek more and more learners for the centers, or they would be sacked.
“VA”, a consultancy officer for a center in Thu Duc district said that she is summoned by the board of management every month, when she is told what she needs to do.
There are five consultancy officers at the center, and they have been told to seek enough learners who can bring 500 million dong in turnover a month.