Vernacular Chinese Primary School Teacher Shortage Reemerges Expedited Solution from the MOE Expected

Joint Statement Released by Dong Zong and Jiao Zong

December 29, 2020

Vernacular Chinese Primary School Teacher Shortage Reemerges

Expedited Solution from the MOE Expected

Teacher shortage in vernacular Chinese primary schools once again emerges as a problem lately and Dong Zong understands it has long been interrupting the frontline educators and undermining the learning right of the students. We think it is time the MOE earnestly behoves itself a long-term solution and timetable for the settlement once and for all, and not repeating the momentary ease seeking approach practiced by the government over the years.

We are uncomfortable with the mispresented statistics released by the MOE on teacher statistics and the need of temporary teachers in vernacular schools since it is the existing fact which reemerges whenever new academic year begins. As such, Dong Zong urges the MOE to immediately rectify the informational errors as well as mispresented statistics and forward both short-term and long-term solution and measure for the pending problem.

We opine, on the matter of teacher shortage in vernacular Chinese primary schools, for a short-term measure to ensure school opening on 20 January 2021 punctually, the MOE needs to post and recruit new teachers and temporary teachers for the schools, including 681 Bachelor of Arts holders majoring in teaching graduated in June 2020 and the 21 temporary teachers who had been interviewed. Their earlier report to work will help students’ learning progress and administration work. Other than this, the MOE should release sufficient appropriation for schools of all streams to recruit temporary teachers needed and expedite approval in the recruitment of temporary teachers. With the appropriation, the school boards as well as parent teacher associations will not have to continuously pay for the salaries of the recruited temporary teachers.

As a long-term measure, thorough review and improvement should be at play on matters of teacher statistics, teacher education, interview and posting as well as recruitment of temporary teachers, including a rigid tracking mechanism for teacher shortage and the review of teacher source to broaden channels for teacher education; that is, to open teacher education courses for national university graduates and tertiary level graduates to apply thus to increase enrollment for the intake need of teacher training colleges.

As a final note, we urge the MOE to set up a vernacular Chinese primary school teacher committee shortly by inviting stakeholders like Dong Zong to review vernacular Chinese primary school teacher education system and operation. It is for a comprehensive algorithm to safeguard the teaching quality of vernacular Chinese primary schools.