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State-owned schools suffer from teacher brain drain

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Teachers who once coveted jobs at state-owned schools in the past are now leaving the schools for private education establishments which offer higher salaries.

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Rector of the Hanoi University of Technology Tran Van Top


A report released by MOET in December 2018 showed that there are three wage levels for state-owned school teachers. The lowest is applied to new graduates. Preschool and primary school teachers receive VND3.2 million a month, including allowances. Secondary school teachers receive VND3.5 million and high school teachers VND3.9 million.

The average level belongs to teachers with 15-25 years of experience, ranging from VND7 million to VND8.5 million for high school teachers and university lecturers.

The highest pay is applied to teachers who have been working for 25 and more years, ranging from VND9 million (preschool, primary school), VND10 million (secondary school) and VND11 million (high school and university).

The figures showed the big difference in the salaries paid by state-owned schools and by private schools.  

Dao Tuan Dat, headmaster of Einstein High School (private) in Hanoi said the wages are different, depending on school prestige.

The schools which collect VND2 million in tuition can pay VND8-10 million a month to teachers who have 20 teaching periods a week. As for the schools which collect VND5 million in tuition, the pay could be VND20 million.

Nguyen Xuan Khang, headmaster of Marie Curie School, which sets higher tuition than Einstein, said the wages paid by private schools are high enough for teachers to devote all of their time to teaching.

At Marie Curie, only a few teachers have a low income of VND10 million. The most common wage level is VND15-20 million, while senior teachers can receive VND30-40 million. 

The incomes of state-owned university lecturers are more flexible than state-owned general school teachers. In addition to the official pay set by the state, lecturers can also get extra income from research projects.

However, Tran Van Top, rector of the Hanoi University of Science & Technology, said that the low salaries paid to state-owned school lecturers are a big problem.

“About 10 excellent lecturers left our school for other schools in 2017. Some of them expected high salaries of VND80-150 million from the new schools,” he said.

“The only solution to retain talents is offering good working conditions. But state-owned cannot do this. We cannot pay VND100-150 million a month,” he explained.

Meanwhile, state-owned schools need more talented lecturers to improve their training quality in the competition with other schools in Vietnam, in the region and the world.

Experts say the problem will be settled once state-owned schools have autonomy.



Source: VietNamNet

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