Teachers need more support to make education beneficial to all
Ha Noi, 15 November – Today, a celebration of World and Vietnamese Teachers’ Day was held at Ha Noi’s Temple of Literature, Van Mieu, to pay tribute to teachers, identifying their evolving role and status, as well as to discuss how society can better support them in the context of building a learning society.
More comprehensive and innovative solutions are needed to support teachers to help Viet Nam become a learning society and to afford the profession the noble status it already has in the country’s long tradition and culture of education.
During the celebration, dialogue was held on the “Role and Status of Teachers in Building an Inclusive, Creative and Sustainable Learning Society”. Held at the Temple of Literature, Viet Nam’s first university, the event was jointly organized and attended by the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Viet Nam Association for Learning Promotion, Viet Nam Association of Former Teachers, Viet Nam Trade Union for Education Personnel, teachers of different disciplines, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
In her remarks, UNESCO’s Representative to Viet Nam, Katherine Muller-Marin, highlighted that society already has high demands for teachers and expectations will only increase as Viet Nam moves forward to become a learning society where all agencies become providers of education and all citizens are engaged in learning throughout their lifetime.
Viet Nam Association for Learning Promotion Chairman Nguyen Manh Cam also said teachers play a central role in building a learning society – a prerequisite for sustainable economic growth and social development.
The presence of qualified, motivated and well-supported teachers is crucial for all forms and levels of education and learning, from early childhood to primary and secondary school, technical vocational education and training, higher education and informal education.
However, Vietnamese teachers, like many of their colleagues worldwide, require more resources and better conditions to facilitate their work and fulfil their roles.
Vietnamese teachers particularly face great challenges in trying to eradicate illiteracy and universalize quality education.
According to Vice Minister of Education and Training, Nguyen Thi Nghia, teachers in remote mountainous areas even go to “every single household to survey their educational background” in order to list those in special need of education. “They have to go to every single family to persuade them to go to school,” she said.
Therefore, the challenging question for Viet Nam is - as stressed by ILO Representative to Viet Nam, Gyorgy Sziraczki - how to make teaching a “decent job that deserves the status they already have in the society”.
As Vietnamese Teachers’ Day is approaching, the organizers called for public attention to the the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers and the UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel.
The recommendations, while issued years ago, still hold relevance today. They have been translated into Vietnamese for dissemination by the Viet Nam Peace and Education Foundation, and are expected to help the country’s education and training renovation.
Viet Nam sets a strong example by prioritizing education with one fifth of the State Budget allocation, but more needs to be done to support qualified teachers to make education beneficial to all.
As learning societies, nations can promote a more peaceful and prosperous future. Teachers stand at the heart of this vision. They are the link between the past, the present and the future. Nothing will ever replace a good teacher. Nothing is more important than supporting them. Support to teachers does not necessarily imply only more funding.
“Many changes are not just about funding, it is a matter of attitudes and relations. Many changes depend on the strong support from school principals and committed parents that share responsibilities with teachers,” said Dr. Muller-Marin. “It depends on how the society opens up to support education anywhere, at any time, for everyone”.
For furhter information, please contact:
Viet Nam Association for Learning Promotion
Mr. Luong Thanh So
Head of Information and Communication Division
Tel: 043 7726148
Fax: 043 7726152
UNESCO Viet Nam
Education Programme Officer
23, Cao Ba Quat Street
Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi
Tel: +84 (4) 37 47 02 75
Fax: +84 (4) 37 47 02 74
ILO Country Office in Viet Nam
Ms Tran Quynh Hoa
Tel: +84 3734 0902 Ext. 218