MY YSEALI VISIT
The second leg of my YSEALI trip brought me to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon, which many of the locals who grew up here prefer), to visit Trang Hoang with TEACH FOR VIETNAM. Located in Ho Chi Minh City and Tay Ninh Province, TEACH FOR VIETNAM is a young start up NGO that recruits Vietnamese college graduates through a fellowship. The fellows teach English to primary and secondary students. This is the first full year in operation, teaching English in the public schools in Tay Ninh Province.
TEACH FOR VIETNAM started two years ago at the grass roots level with the support from TEACH FOR ALL. Its headquarters are in Ho Chi Minh City, but the program is implemented in the public schools of Tay Ninh Province. Tay Ninh Province is a rural farming community, approximately two hours from the edge of Ho Chi Minh City.
TEACH FOR VIETNAM has a teamwork approach. They lead by example, strive for equity in education and gender, and believe every child should receive the best education possible. The team usually has lunch together and works long hours in achieving the organization’s mission.
TEACH FOR VIETNAM is in 32 rural public schools in Tay Ninh Province. The Department of Education in Tay Ninh Province decides what schools TEACH FOR VIETNAM will be in. Each of the 16 fellows either teach two, 3rd grade classes in the public primary schools, or one 3rd grade and one 6th grade class in the secondary schools. With this being the first year in operation, they are assessing qualitative data to measure their effectiveness, aligning with the Ministry of Education’s curriculum, and building relationships with teachers, administrators, and students in the schools.
Like in Cambodia, Vietnam has a morning and afternoon session for both public, primary and secondary schools. In the public schools, families pay a nominal fee to attend. At low income schools, there is a tuition waiver for families. The Vietnam government does fund public education.
TEACH FOR VIETNAM fellows have bachelor, master, or PhD level degrees. They join the program because they want to give back to schools in the rural community. If the fellows complete the two-year program, they will receive a teaching certification.