By 2018, Vietnam had 1.16 million teachers in primary schools and colleges. Although Vietnamese education needs nearly 76,000 additional teachers, the sector remains unattractive due to low wages compared to other sectors. Young people leaving university receive an average of 3 million dongs (114 euros) monthly, the salaries of the profession being based on seniority, which pushes many teachers to take a second job. Young people are also under pressure from corruption, with some officials not hesitating to "sell" teaching posts in exchange for bribes.

In the evening, after working days as a teacher, Francis Tran Dinh Loi is a mototaxi driver. Faced with the widening gap between his expenses and his income, this activity allows him to round off his income and live properly. "My salary as a teacher is not enough to survive," says Francis Loi, who teaches at a primary school in Ho Chi Minh City. He earns a monthly salary of 4 million dong (151 euros), but must spend between 6 and 7 million dong (227-265 euros) between his rent and his other monthly expenses. In his debut as a teacher in 2016, the 25-year-old Vietnamese continued to receive financial support from his parents. For lack of time and money."Even if I try to make an honest living, I have to wear a mask when I drive, to hide my face from my students and their parents," says Francis Loi, who started his second job last year. . "I would be ashamed if they saw me working as a mototaxi driver. " He adds that they are often seen as manual workers without education. "If you learn my second job, I will not be respected in my teaching profession," he says. Even though the Vietnamese consider the teaching profession to be a noble profession, Francis Loi's friends who have graduated from high school earn between 8 and 9 million dongs a month as laborers, and they earn a better living."I'm really disappointed with this salary, even though I'm happy and proud to have found a job that matches my skills. "

Anna Pham Thi Chi, who has been teaching at a primary school in Kien Giang province for fifteen years, earns a monthly salary of 8 million Dong, which is insufficient to support her family. Anna Chi, a 40-year-old single mother of two, also sells soybean clothing and yogurt online, earning her an additional 2 million dong a month. "When we are in trouble, we have to ask for financial help from my sister, who works for a real estate agency,"She says. Teachers who have just graduated from university receive an average monthly salary of 3 million Dong, a salary level much lower than average compared to other sectors. Even if they can not live decently with their salary, they are forced to endure heavy workloads. When they have to take a second job, their obligations as teachers tend to suffer. Teacher salaries are based on seniority. Older teachers are much better paid than younger people, even when they have less work. Some suggest that teachers have the same level of salary as army or police officials, to ensure a better standard of living and to attract qualified people to the profession.

Young teachers who are victims of corruption

Savior Phan Van Tai, who graduated in 2017, refused to pay 200 million dong (7,571 euros) to corrupt officials to teach English at a high school in Kien Giang province. Savior Phan Tai, 23, believes he does not have to pay for work and low wages. Moreover, his family does not have such a sum. "Bribes create an unfair situation for teachers. Corrupt officials receive money and hire new entrants, transferring other teachers elsewhere or sending them away, " said Savior Tai, who today works as an interpreter for an international research firm based in Ho Chi Minh City. Minh City."I am deeply shocked by the extent of corruption in education. Having to pay a bribe to gain access to a teaching position is totally unacceptable. " In 2002, Theresa Nguyen Thi Hoai, 42, borrowed 30 million VND to be able to" buy a job "as an English teacher at a college near her, which allowed her to stay close to her elderly parents to take care of them. His parents also had to borrow money to pay for his studies at the university. "In the evening, after school, I had to give support classes to students to earn money and pay off debt," says Thérèse Hoai, a mother of a child."Today, I always give support classes to support my family, because my salary is very low. " She says some teachers forcing students to attend tutoring illegally. "It's immoral to force them that way, but what can teachers do with? She asks. Teachers who give private lessons in English, maths, physics, chemistry and literature have a good income, unlike teachers who teach other less popular subjects and are forced to find other odd jobs. By 2018, Vietnam had 1.16 million teachers in primary schools and colleges. There are about 76,000 teachers missing from the country's education system."I try to overcome difficulties and continue my teaching activity not to disappoint my parents," says Francis Loi, whose family has worked in education for several generations.

(Source: Églises d'Asie - le 12/06 /2019, With Ucanews, Saigon)