Education officials from around the country said they may be unable to expand English teaching to all schools for third graders and above this year due to various hurdles.
HCM CITY —
The Ministry of Education and Training wants to expand its pilot programme of last year when it introduced English for these grades at 92 primary schools nation-wide.
But the officials told a conference held to review the pilot programme in HCM City last Tuesday that they have yet to receive guidance documents from the Ministry about training for teachers, curriculums, or list of teaching aids to buy.
The problem has been compounded by the fact that during the pilot programme, schools did not use prescribed books.
Nguyen Cao Phuc, an official in charge of teaching English at central Khanh Hoa Province's Department of Education and Training, said many of the English textbooks published in the country contain mistakes, especially in spelling.
He pointed out more sloppiness, saying that in many cases books and CDs accompanying them do not tally with each other.
He said the Ministry should carefully check and choose standard books for expanding English teaching in primary schools.
A shortage of English teachers was also a big worry, other delegates said.
Except Ha Noi and HCM City, most provinces' educational departments do not even have officials specialising in primary-school English, they complained.
In many provinces, teachers ‘ colleges lack an English faculty for primary teachers.
Le Ngoc Diep, head of the HCM City Department of Education and Training's primary education office, said English teachers were paid VND100,000 per class.
They were sent abroad for training once every three years, he added.
Thai Thi Phuong Thuy of Tra Vinh Province Department of Education and Training said unlike Ha Noi or HCM City, the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces cannot afford to send teachers, especially English, to study abroad.
The Ministry should therefore help them, she added.
Nguyen Ngoc Hung, member of the national foreign language project, said under the programme, the ministry would allocate funds for localities to send teachers in charge of implementing the project abroad.
Le Tien Thanh, head of the Ministry's Primary Education Department, told education managers at the conference to ensure teachers to be compensated adequately. — VNS