VietNamNet Bridge – Pre-school education has revived after a period of being
Vietnam once paid inappropriate attention to pre-school education, which then
resulted in the serious lack of nursery schools for children. However, the
problem has been fixed: the plan on education universalization for 5-year-old
children was kicked off two years ago, which then triggered the strong revival
Minister of Education and Training recently admitted before the National
Assembly that for a long period, pre-school education received less attention
than general education.
This has resulted in big bad consequences. In 2007-2010, Vietnam seriously
lacked nursery schools and nursery school teachers. There were not enough
schools for children, especially in big urban areas, even though the percentage
of children going to school was lower.
An official of the Hanoi Education and Training Department said at a workshop on
pre-school education last year that Hanoi created 20,000 more seats every year
for children, but this still could not satisfy the demand.
Since Hanoi seriously lacked nursery schools, it had to arrange the classes with
60 children, while the Ministry of Education and Training said there must not be
more than 35 students in every class.
After the plan on education universalization for 5-year-old children was kicked
off, pre-school education has developed rapidly, but it still cannot satisfy the
About 1300 semi-state owned schools have turned into state owned schools, which
means that the state pays money to run the schools. Meanwhile, hundreds of
schools more have been built. However, the country still lacks tens of thousands
A report of the education ministry showed that 84.4 percent of pre-school age
children and 22.7 percent of less-than-36-month children can go to school.
The figures show that only a small percentage of children can go to nursery
schools. However, the lucky children cannot receive standard education quality.
Of the 149,000 nursery classrooms nationwide, 50 percent can meet the standards
in material facilities, while the others are made of bamboo or in very poor
Once the classrooms are not enough for children, toys and school yards prove to
be the “luxurious things” for children.
Vietnam not only lacks nursery schools, but also nursery school teachers as
A report showed that less than 60 percent of nursery school teachers now receive
salaries from the state. Since semi-state owned schools have turned into state
owned schools, a lot of teachers have luckily become the regular members of the
personnel and received salaries from the state budget.
Over the last three years, 31,000 teachers have been recruited for nursery
schools. According to Nguyen Thi Minh, Deputy Minister of Finance, the State
pays 3 trillion dong more a year to pay to nursery school teachers.
However, in many localities, the limited local budgets do not allow to recruit
more teachers. According to Nguyen Vinh Hien, Deputy Minister of Education and
Training, a high percentage of nursery school teachers now work under short term
Since the teachers do not receive salaries from the state, and their incomes
depend on the local budgets and local schools, they cannot get periodic
promotions as stipulate din the Labor Code. Meanwhile, the fixed incomes are
very low–between one and 2.5 million dong a month. And they always have to work
more hours than stipulated in the labor code.