Feb 8, 2012

Vietnam - Schools complain working hour changes lead to higher expenses

VietNamNet Bridge – Since February 1, the afternoon learning shift of high schools finishes at 7 pm instead of 5 pm. The change has made general schools worried stiff, because they would have to pay for a series of additional expenses.

All the high schools in Hanoi, in their petition to the Hanoi Education and Training Department, complained that they have to pay higher for electricity and water bill, and for security guards due to the learning shift hour changes.

Nguyen Quoc Thinh, Headmaster of the Vietnam-Germany High School in Hoan Kiem district in Hanoi, said that his school has to light the school two more hours than previously, which has led to the bigger expenses on electricity. 

The school has installed more lamps in the areas of corridors and parking places. Meanwhile, it has hired the Urban Equipment and Lighting Company to make survey and install lighting equipments for the school yard.

Binh said though he still does not know how much the school has to pay more for the electricity bill, he is sure that the expenses for monthly electricity bill and the money paid to buy lamps are relatively big.

He went on to say that the Vietnam-Germany School is a state owned one, which receives a limited budget from the State every year. Therefore, the school does not have money to buy power generators to be used in case of the electricity cuts. “If the power is cut, we will have no other choice than stopping the learning shifts sooner than planned,” Binh said.

Meanwhile, Le Mai Anh, Deputy Headmaster of the Chu Van An High School in Tay Ho district, said that the school would have to spend 50 million dong to install a lighting system. The sum of money would be extracted from the budget allocated every year by the state to the school.

While state owned schools still can use the money from the state budget for new investments, people founded schools cannot receive any support from the State. 

A representative from the Luong The Vinh people founded High School said that the school has to spend money on the lighting system. Besides, it is really a headache as the school cannot arrange the same buses for students to save money, because secondary and high school students finish school hours at different times. Therefore, the costs for buses would also increase.

Dr Van Nhu Cuong, President of the Luong The Vinh School said that a private school like his has to balance the receipts and spending, while the only source of income of the school is the tuition.

Schools have complained that while a lot of new kinds of expenses have arisen, but they have not received any support from the city’s people’s committee.

Private school students feared that they would be requested to pay additional fees to cover the increasing expenses. However, anticipating that schools may collect more from parents, which may raise a strong opposition among parents, the Hanoi Education and Training Department on February 4, sent a dispatch to schools, saying that the schools must not collect any additional kind of fee.

Mai Si Nhat, a senior official of the Hanoi Education and Training Department, said to local press that schools need to take initiative to overcome the difficulties caused by the working hour changes. The schools need to collect opinions and suggestions from students and parents, and to calculate the total expenses to report to the education department in an upcoming conference.

Meanwhile, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Education and Training Department said that schools have to strictly follow the new regulation, while existing problems would be reported for adjustments.

Source: VTC

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