Dec 24, 2012

Vietnam - Good connections for good schools

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Vietnamese parents often rely on connections to get their children enrolled in an elementary school of their choice, said a survey on 150 fathers and mothers in Ho Chi Minh City.

About 54 percent of the participants revealed that they asked acquaintances to book a seat for their children at schools located in an area different from where they registered the kids’ residence, according to the survey conducted by a group of students at Ho Chi Minh City Open University.

City schools enroll students based on their registered residence to ensure a fair distribution and thus make sure that there may be enough seats for everyone. In that fashion, they give the highest priority to applicants whose registered residence is from the same district as the whereabouts of their campus, while candidates from other districts must have their applications closely screened before any possible admission.

Approximately 31 percent of the parents said that they independently submitted applications to out-of-district schools, whereas 17.6 percent tried to move their kids’ registered residence to relatives’ houses for school enrollment.

Slightly more than 10 percent admitted to paying higher fees to admissions officers to get it done while 7.4 percent resorted to other methods.

Above 45.3 percent disclosed that their kids were enrolled in a school situated in a different place than the one their residence was registered.

Some parents said they first ‘picked’ a school and then transferred their children’s registered residence to the area where the school was located, while others divulged they asked prestigious intermediaries to recommend them to school presidents.


A school’s reputation stands behind all this as 68.4 percent of the participating parents said that they manipulated enrollment in order to get their kids into prestigious establishments.

Over half of those surveyed (54.4 percent) said that the quality of teachers mattered most to them during the process when 32.5 percent explained that in-district schools offered poor education so they had to look for out-of-district alternatives.

More than one-third (30.7 percent) managed to enroll their kids in schools near their workplace so that it would be more convenient to pick them up.

Almost 9 percent cited a lack of in-district day-boarding schools as the cause while 13.2 percent quoted a failure to apply to in-district schools or other reasons.


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