Students nowadays do not want to study at pedagogical schools to become teachers, even though they do not have to pay tuition for university study.
Students turn their backs to pedagogical schools
In 1998, the government released a decision on exempting tuitions for pedagogical schools in an effort to attract more students to the schools and produce qualified teachers for the future. At that time, pedagogical schools became the choice of many high school graduates.
The number of high school graduates registering to attend the entrance exams to the HCM City University of Education jumped from 22,539 students in 1998 to 29,725 in 1999 and then to 41,235 students in 2000.
With the number of examinees to the schools was numerous, pedagogical schools required very high learning records from students. In 1999, students could enroll in the mathematics faculty of the school if they got 20 marks from the university entrance exams. Meanwhile, they needed to obtain 22 marks in 2002 and 24 marks in 2004.
Nevertheless, the number of students who want to study at pedagogical schools has been decreasing in recent years. Only 15,000 students attended the exams to the HCM City University of Education in 2010. Especially, the school had to seek learners from the students, who failed the exams to other schools and accepted to study at the education school as their second choice.
In 2011, students just needed to obtain 13 or 14 marks from the national entrance exams to be able to enroll in the pedagogical majors of the Dong Thap, An Giang, Can Tho and Tay Bac Universities.
Nguyen Anh Duc, Head of the Students’ Affairs Division of the HCM City University for Technical Education, said every year, the Ministry of Education and Training allows the school to enroll 400 students who can enjoy the tuition exemption. However, the number of students following pedagogical studies has been low, just nearly equal to the allocated quota.
Ta Quang Lam, Head of the Training Division of the HCM City University for Education has noted that the tuition exemption policy now cannot help attract students to pedagogical schools any more.
Commitments can be broken easily
The inter-ministerial circular of the Ministries of Education and Training and Finance--clearly stipulates that students can be exemption from tuitions only if they commit to serve in the education and training sector after they finish schools. The students, who make commitments before entering schools, but do not serve in the education sector after the graduation, will have to pay the sums of money there are exempted for the study at the schools.
Nevertheless, the regulation does not have much significance. No student has been asked to reimburse the tuitions so far, even though a lot of students break their commitments after the graduation.
A survey at the HCM City University of Technical Education has shown that only 10 percent of the school graduates work in the education and training sector, including the students who cannot enjoy the tuition exemption.
Duc said that a lot of local vocational schools want to employ the bachelors graduating from the university. However, the graduates do not want to take the jobs, because they do not want to work in remote areas, get low salaries, while they cannot see the opportunities to follow studies at higher levels.
Meanwhile, Tran Thi Chuc from the Saigon University said it’s impossible to request students to reimburse money, because graduates do not get assigned works because the city’s education department does not have the demand. As students have to look for jobs themselves, they would not pay back tuitions.