Lack of English teachers in primary schools in HCMC

Many primary schools in HCM City are facing a shortage of English teachers due to new recruitment requirements. Photo courtesy of

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is facing a severe shortage of English teachers in primary schools, partly due to the stricter quality criteria required under a new recruitment programme.

Some neighborhoods in the Vietnamese city were only able to hire one English teacher, despite the demand for more than 30.

Tan Phu district education and training department deputy director Tran Trong Khiem said that as HCMC is currently running an English program for all students, many primary schools are struggling to recruit. enough English teachers.

In the 2020-2021 school year, the district needed to hire 34 English teachers, but received only seven applications, and six of them were hired.

Similarly, the Go Vap District People’s Committee needed 30 English teachers for primary schools.

Go Vap District Education and Training Department Chief Nguyen Thanh Thuy said the district was only able to recruit one teacher.

Cu Chi District Education and Training Department Chief Tran Van Toan said the recruitment of English teachers in urban districts is facing difficulties and is even more difficult for districts in suburbs such as Cu Chi, Binh Chanh and Go Vap.

Few teachers want to work in suburban neighborhoods, he said.

“Although Cu Chi District does not require much, the number of primary English teachers applying for the job has not matched the demand,” Toan said.

Tran Trong Khiem said previous generations of English teachers should graduate with a major in English and hold certificates of teaching skills.

However, the new recruitment system requires candidates to hold a university degree, which has led to a shortage of English teachers in primary schools in recent years.

In fact, there are many graduates who are proficient in English since most universities offer specialized training in English, but there are not many graduates from pedagogical universities.

Also, due to low salaries, the turnover rate of English teachers is high, especially in public schools. Many teachers have decided to leave and work in private institutions where they can earn a higher salary.

To maintain the minimum number of English teachers, most schools have signed contracts with language center teachers.

However, schools can only sign contracts with language centers approved by the HCMC Department of Education and Training, based on quality assessment criteria.