Privately-owned K-12 schools and universities are grappling with small enrollments, with many even closing down.
A principal complained that low numbers have pushed many private schools to a dead end.
T., a private school in Ho Chi Minh City, has admitted only a few dozen students despite its big spending on advertising campaigns this school year.
Hien Vuong High School, also located in the city, has shut down after six years of operation because of student shortages.
Many other schools have managed to recruit merely 200 students annually for consecutive years, a number that puts their existence at risk.
Official figures show that more than 30 private schools had a student attendance of fewer than 200 in April, with some even teaching below 50 students.
The same for higher education
Private universities have also struggled to attract candidates for years.
A few dozen students have applied and been admitted to Phan Chau Trinh University in the central province of Quang Nam in the 2012-13 academic year, even though it announced 500 available seats.
Things are even more bitter for the university, as it has been offering 100 scholarships to lure applicants since the very beginning of its enrollment campaign.
Tan Tao University in the Mekong Delta province of Long An is now in a far worse situation because it was able to enroll only 29 new students out of the planned 500.
A university in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, Phu Xuan, has only found a few hundred new students, whereas it aimed for 1,000 enrollees for this year.
“We have never faced any situation like this before,” an academic affairs officer complained.
Small enrollments currently inflict many other universities in other provinces and cities, with just three weeks left until the end of this year’s enrolling season.
Inadequate facilities and low education quality have caused all this, experts say.
The municipal Department of Education and Training decided last month to suspend enrollment at Khai Tri, a city middle and high school based on the 4th and 5th floors of a house, for one year because it lacked basic facilities like schoolyards and labs.
Another city school, Phuong Nam, has ceased operations for three months due to faculty and teaching problems.
Up to three-fourths of city private schools did not have labs for such subjects as physics, chemistry, and biology, the local education department said, citing last year’s statistics.
It elaborated that 63 schools did not have specialized rooms for music and painting, while 57 had no sports grounds or halls for large gatherings.
The department added that 10 boasted no schoolyards, while many did not even have a library.
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