Volunteer teachers nationwide, including newly graduated students, will be required to sit an exam to assess their competency as a way to resolve quality issues and ensure fairness for all volunteer teachers.
For many years, it has been a concern among volunteer teachers that they are not being allocated quotas to join the ranks of fully paid state employees in the education sector.
Once the move is instituted, newly graduated teachers who can pass the competency exam will be among those interviewed as prospective state employees.
Currently, there are around 10,000 volunteer teachers nationwide who are still waiting for a quota allocation to become fully paid state employees.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Education and Sports wants to allocate a quota of 6,500 new teachers in order to respond to the needs of development but the government has only approved a quota of some 1,900 staff, officials confirmed.
Personnel Department Director General of the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr. Chansamout Keosouttha told Vientiane Times yesterday that the proposed exam will help solve the problem of teacher selection and ensure that well qualified teachers are recruited to serve the nation.
He explained that the majority of young teachers who do not receive a quota allocation to become state employees end up leaving their volunteer government posts to go and work in the private sector instead.
Private school jobs ar e considered by some as more secure as they do not know if or when they will receive their quota allocation to work as a state official.
The demand for teachers at private primary schools is also increasing every year and they offer negotiated salaries and welfare for their teachers while the government cannot guarantee volunteers their quotas, Mr. Chansamout said.
The other reason that many volunteer teachers decide to work with private schools immediately after graduating is that they worry that they could miss out on employment for a long period of time if they wait for a government job, he added .
Mr. Chansamout explained that a volunteer teacher has to work at least two years to be eligible to be raised to the status of civil servant, but not longer than three years, according to the old policy.
Th e majority of the provinces have allocated teachers’ quotas to new graduated students, he said, adding that others have been unable to comply with the policies of the ministry.
This has held back the development of the education system in the country, Mr. Chansamout acknowledged, because some of the volunteer teachers who are elevated to the status of civil servants are still lacking in experience.
“We think that the exam system can solve these problems and create more transparency in the education sector,” Mr. Chansamout said, adding that education administrators will work to allocate quotas to the target groups as assigned.
Source: Vientiane Times