Why is it proposed to classify kindergarten teachers as a strenuous profession?

Why is it proposed to classify kindergarten teachers as a strenuous profession?

Kindergarten teachers complain about hardship, low wages, and many have quit their jobs.

The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has officially suggested classifying kindergarten teaching as a strenuous profession and female teachers retiring at the age of 55. Many educators believe that this proposal is appropriate and motivates teachers to stick with the profession.

Over the age of 50, teachers become slow

Teacher Nguyen Thuy Duong, who has been dedicated to nurturing children at a kindergarten in Ha Dong district (Hanoi) for 15 years, shared that she loves her job and the children so much that she doesn’t mind going to school at 6 am in any weather and only leaves when all the students have been picked up by their parents. Some days, when parents are stuck in traffic or call to say they will be late, she has to stay in class until 7 pm looking after the children while her own child is left alone at school with no one to pick them up.

“Kindergarten teachers have to teach, comfort, and take care of dozens of children at the same time, including feeding them, giving them medicine when they are sick or vomiting, cleaning… The job pressure is also very high when parents constantly have opinions and demand comprehensive care but the monthly salary is only 6 million VND”, Ms. Duong said.

Kindergarten teachers believe that it is difficult to ensure health to nurture children after the age of 50. The salary does not meet life’s demands, for many years Ms. Duong has been teaching and selling goods online to earn extra income. In the end, she decided to quit her job and start her own business.

Ms. Le Thi Hien Hao, Bach Duong Kindergarten, Da Nang City also said that being a kindergarten teacher is extremely hard. Every day, from receiving children to returning them to their parents, teachers of any age have to do all sorts of work such as: carrying babies, comforting children, feeding them, cleaning them, teaching them to dance, sing… That’s on normal days, on days when there are sick children in class, teachers are even more exhausted because the kids are whiny and have trouble sleeping.

She shared that after 10 hours of work each day at school, just dealing with the noise from the children gives her a headache like being hit with a hammer when she gets home. Many people over the age of 50 have become slow and tired.

“With the nature of the profession, I hope that the proposal to classify kindergarten teachers as a strenuous profession and retire at the age of 55 is appropriate. Because at that age, teachers have become slow and find it difficult to ensure their health for teaching kindergarten which involves a lot of work”, Ms. Le Thi Hien Hao from Bach Duong Kindergarten in Da Nang City shared.

Hard labor, salary not commensurate

Recently, Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son said that kindergarten teachers work very hard but their salaries are not commensurate with their labor efforts. With all policies combined, the income of kindergarten teachers is still lower than the general level and labor efforts put in.

Minister Nguyen Kim Son also shared that in reality kindergarten teachers now work more hours, take care of children longer and spend a lot of energy working without having time for professional development or taking care of their families. This is also why many people hesitate to become kindergarten teachers.

Currently, some localities mobilize socialization to have additional resources to support the team, but there are still a lack of complete and sustainable legal corridor regulations for this. Therefore, in the future, the Ministry of Education and Training will pay attention to compensating for the extra working hours of kindergarten teachers,” said Mr. Son.

Regarding the retirement age of kindergarten teachers, the Minister said that the Government is adjusting the Social Insurance Law, in which the Ministry of Education and Training has officially suggested including kindergarten teachers in the group of strenuous laborers. “In forums, I have also expressed my opinion that kindergarten teachers need a retirement regime belonging to the group of strenuous laborers. Female teachers retire at the age of 55 and still ensure the regime, so as not to disadvantage the team,” said Minister Nguyen Kim Son.

The principal of a kindergarten in Ba Dinh district (Hanoi) also shared that the basic salary was adjusted to increase from July 2023 but basically, teachers’ income did not increase much. Teachers with 15 years of experience only have a salary of about 7 million VND/month; teachers who have worked for less than 5 years only have a level of 4-5 million VND/month. The profession requires teachers to be young and healthy to perform well, so it needs to be included in strenuous labor and retire at the age of 55.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Xuan Nhi, former Deputy Minister of Education and Training believes that it is necessary to consider including kindergarten teachers in the group of strenuous and toxic professions. Because kindergarten teachers have their own characteristics, more difficult than other levels of education. The proposal to rank kindergarten teachers into strenuous professions, with specific and practical policies will be an encouragement and motivation for teachers to stick with their profession.

“While salaries are not enough to live on, there are no support policies in the context where many people quit their jobs as they do now, in the future there will be more people quitting their jobs, then the industry will lack a serious workforce,” Assoc. Prof. Nhi said.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Education and Training, over the past three school years, more than 40,000 teachers have quit their jobs, with kindergarten teachers making up the largest number. The main reason is due to the specific hard work, pressure but low salary regime, not meeting life’s requirements. Many localities are seriously lacking kindergarten teachers despite attractive policies such as supporting 100 million VND/time/person but still cannot recruit teachers.

Hà Linh

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