Back Stories » Saigon » HCMC Pedagogy University Faces Online Backlash Over New Height Requirements for Teachers

Are you tall enough to be a teacher?

As Tuoi Tre reports, over the past few weeks many tertiary institutions across Vietnam have announced their upcoming intakes and entrance requirements for the 2019 school year. One university in particular has sparked controversy for a rather peculiar admission prerequisite: height.

The school in question is the Ho Chi Minh City of Pedagogy, which requires prospective applicants of teaching majors to be of a certain height: male applicants should be over 1.55 meters, while female teaching hopefuls must be at least 1.5 meters tall. For Physical Education instructors, males must be 1.65 meters tall and weigh over 50 kilograms, while females must be 1.55 meters tall and weigh over 45 kilograms.

This is the first year that height requirements have been introduced for a local teaching program, and it doesn't sit well with many candidates and teachers. Most teachers find the height requirement ridiculous.

“It’s teaching, which — unlike the military or acting — shouldn't require a significant height," Huynh Thi Trang, a secondary school teacher, told the news source. "Having good appearance as a teacher is an added asset, but it’s absolutely not a necessary condition. The impression of a teacher should lie in their moral values. Honestly, I’m not a good-looking teacher myself, but I’ve left many great impressions throughout my 32 years of teaching.”

The criteria have also left students baffled, as the requirements were announced just a month before admissions to the university began. Ai My, a student from Dong Thap Province, planned to major in Primary Education, but she has now switched to a different field because she isn't tall enough. “Nowadays, a lot of students from underprivileged families choose teaching as a major, and the height requirement certainly puts them off despite their exceptional academic results," she told Tuoi Tre in Vietnamese.

In response to the online backlash, the HCMC University of Pedagogy has recently decided to remove the height requirements as of this morning. Nguyen Thi Minh Hong, the university's principal, said in an interview: "Our school's stance is accepting feedback and adjusting entrance requirements accordingly. I've removed height from our admission plan this morning."

[Photo: Damien Vo/WikiCommons]

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