Teacher shortage leaves hundreds of kids at home in Ha Tinh

10:39 | 24/08/2018
Hundreds of toddlers have been unable to enroll at public kindergartens in Ha Tinh Province this school year due to a serious shortage of teachers.
teacher shortage leaves hundreds of kids at home in ha tinh
Parents whose children were unable to attend Thach Linh kindergarten in Ha Tinh City, Ha Tinh Province, complain to the school. - Photo nguoiduatin.vn

Nguyen Van Tu from Thach Linh Ward in Ha Tinh City woke her three-year-old grandson up earlier than usual to get ready for the first day at kindergarten on Monday. After they arrived at Thach Linh kindergarten, they were dumbfounded to learn that there were no seats for the boy in any of the classes.

“While kids the same age as my grandson were taken to their classes, my grandson had to leave with many other kids,” Tư told online newspaper Dân Tri.

“The kindergarten explained that the number of enrolled students had been cut because of a teacher shortage.”

The family later found out that Thach Linh kindergarten opened just 10 classes this year, of which two classes were available for 50 three-year-olds. The number of three-year-old children in the ward, meanwhile, stood at 127, meaning that 77 children were unable to attend.

The same issue was reported at Tan Giang kindergarten in the city’s Tan Giang Ward when the enrollment quota for three-year-olds was just 16 despite 59 kids living in the area.

Kindergartens in the Kỳ Anh Township which is located about 60km to the south of Ha Tinh City were also struggling with complaints from parents whose kids were refused a spot in class.

“It has been tense for us for the last few days. The parents took the kids to enroll but we couldn’t receive them because we didn’t have enough teachers,” Hoa Mai kindergarten principal Phung Thi Anh told online newspaper Infonet.

Before this school year, kindergartens in Ha Tinh had yearly contracts with teachers to guarantee there were sufficient teachers for all children, Anh said. Salaries for the teachers were paid by the parents, but a decision issued by the Ha Tinh Department of Education and Training in October last year changed everything. The decision No 1449 completely banned the collection of money from parents to pay for contracted teachers.

“We are not allowed to do that anymore so there is nothing we can do but to end contracts with the teachers. That also means we lack teachers to teach the kids,” she said.

Anh said that there were 100 three-year-old toddlers in Ky Anh who could not attend her kindergarten this year.

“And it also happens in other kindergartens across Ky Anh Township. Each is short of around 10 to 12 teachers,” she added.

Ha Tinh City Education and Training Division deputy head Tran Thi Thuy Nga said that such enrollment chaos was expected when the decision in question came into effect.

Explaining why most of the rejected kids were three years old, Nga said that the kindergartens gave the utmost priority to five-year-old children to better prepare them for primary school next year, followed by four-year-olds. Enrollment of kids of three and younger would depend on the kindergartens’ infrastructure and number of teachers.

And because of a severe shortage of teachers this school year, there are currently 300 more than the enrollment quota, Nga said.

“Taking the kids to private kindergartens will be more than many families can afford. So far the division has asked the municipal education department and the People’s Committee for solutions,” she said.


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