By staff writers - Translated by Uyen Phuong

Ho Chi Minh City is seriously lacking in qualified nursery male schoolteachers, since there are few takers for kindergarten teaching, said the city Department of Education and Training.

Figures from the Department show that out of 10 preschool-trained graduates, two quit their jobs while eight male teachers give up the profession altogether. As a result, the city is in dire shortage of male preschool teachers.

Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet, deputy chief of the Bureau of Education in district 3 said that teacher Luong Trong Binh is the only male teacher in her district.

Teacher Binh graduated in 1991 when male teachers for daycare centers were unheard of. His small young pupils loved him. In 1994, he was appointed as vice headmaster of Preschool 7 and is now the headmaster of Preschool 11.

Meanwhile, teacher Nguyen Thanh Luong, vice chief of Preschool 15 in district 11 said he decided to be a kindergarten teacher because of his fun-loving nature. He has spent the last 20 years teaching small children in daycare centers. He said he was very happy, as he received a lot of love from both the children and their parents.

For those who decided to become preschool teachers, high salaries or promotions were never the considerations. They only had love for small kids.

Dinh Thi Tu, Head of the Pre-school Education Faculty under the HCM City University of Education, said that of the few male students who had applied for preschool faculty jobs, only one passed the entrance examination.

Since the last few years, there have been fewer takers for faculty jobs as they are afraid of gender prejudice and low incomes. Students who major in the discipline will get the knowledge and skills needed for teaching preschoolers – like child psychology, hygiene, nutrition, and toy-making.

The demand for teachers and managers for pre-school education is quite high.  Statistics from the Department of Education and Training show that the city has nearly 13,000 teachers working in daycare centers but the number of male teachers are only about a handful.