Officials to probe training centres

Published: 02/04/2011 05:00



Ha Noi Education and Training Department would regularly inspect foreign language and computer centres this year in response to the growing number of centres that were operating without licences, said the department’s vice director Pham Van Dai.

“The centres that do not meet requirements will be suspended from operation or closed outright,” he said, adding that their operation was affecting the prestige of the training sector in the city.

At present, about 112 language centres have been granted licences to operate in the city, which had helped meet student demand by offering them the opportunity to access foreign study methods with native English teachers, said Nguyen Tien Truong, head of the department’s division of foreign-related training.

However, the city still had centres operating without licences and their training quality had not been verified, he said.

In some cases, centres hired foreigners who did not possess teaching certificates or qualifications to teach in their classes. According to regulations, those without qualifications cannot be called teachers, although they can work as volunteers who support the teaching/learning process at the centres.

“The survival of the centres depends on their training quality, which forces each centre to adapt to meet student demands. Beginners may be satisfied with listening and speaking exercises with native speakers but those at higher levels require more,” he said.

The department had planned to design a comprehensive set of criteria to assess the quality of the training centres because they would help to assure standards, Truong said.

“It will take time and co-operation from experts in relevant sectors to compile criteria for facilities, teachers and training quality,” he said.

The department also intends to post a list of licensed centres on its website that is expected to help students select reliable study centres.

Director of the Duc Anh Centre for English Nhu Hoa said that the centre only employed people with diplomas and teaching certificates granted by prestigious institutions, including Cambridge University.

Many centres complained that their foreign teachers had to leave Viet Nam every three months to extend their visas, which interrupted their teaching.

Hoa said that her centre usually took the necessary legal procedures to allow their teachers to work in Viet Nam for at least 1-2 years, which helped ensure their work performance.

Tran Hong Van, 22, of Tay Ho District said she wanted to an take English course to better prepare for a job in the future but was very confused about which centre to choose.

She said she based her choice on friends’ experiences and the popularity of the centre.

“Studying with native English speakers is good for learners, for it helps to improve our competence and confidence in using the language,” she said.

Source: VNS

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