Feb 2, 2013

Vietnam - Non-state owned schools with few students to be forced to get dissolved

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VietNamNet Bridge – Non-state owned schools account for 50 percent of the total high schools in Hanoi, but they receive only 16.4 percent of the total students. Eight out of 102 non-state owned schools have stopped operation and would get officially dissolved soon.

The fear of being forced to shut down has been hanging over many non-state high schools in Hanoi, because they cannot attract students. The situation has got so serious that Director of the Hanoi Education and Training had to gather a meeting with the representatives of non-state owned schools to discuss the solutions to the problem.

Hanoi now has 102 non-state owned schools, including eight schools which have stopped operation and two have not become operational yet, which gather 10,000 students. This means that each school can enroll 120 students only.

In Hanoi, enrolling in state owned schools is the priority choice for all students. However, since the existing state owned schools cannot satisfy the increasingly demand, worse students would have to go to non-state owned schools.

As such, non-state owned schools would target the students, who finish secondary schools but do not pass the entrance exams to state owned high schools.

In principle, the student supply for non-state schools to enroll is very profuse, because up to 30 percent of secondary school graduates do not pass the entrance exams to state owned high schools. Meanwhile, the majority of secondary school graduates want to continue their study at high schools instead of going to vocational schools.

However, in fact, non-state owned schools have been crying about the lack of students, while the investment rate is tens of billions of dong on average. Director of the Hanoi Education and Training--Nguyen Huu Do, has attributed this to the poor material conditions of the schools.

A report said that only 20 percent of non-state high schools in Hanoi have stable locations with solid buildings, while the students of the other 80 percent of schools have to go to rent classrooms in different locations. 40 percent of schools reportedly have less than two functional rooms, while 30 percent of schools lack playing yards or physical exercise grounds, and 14 percent of classrooms are temporary rooms.

Chief Inspector of the Hanoi Education and Training Department--Hoang Co Chinh, said he has found problems in the training quality of the schools.

“How can headmasters learn about the teaching quality of their schools, if they never attend the teaching hours at their schools?” Chinh said.

However, Vu Van Tieu, Headmaster of Pham Ngu Lao High School, has denied the criticism about the poor material facilities and low teaching quality.

Tieu said his school covers an area of 8,000 square meters with 32 classrooms and other functional rooms. The school enrolls 350 students a year. It planned to enroll 420 students in the 2012-2013 academic year, but it could not find enough students. Regarding the teaching quality, 90 percent of the school’s students pass the high school exams.

Therefore, Tieu said, the problem does not lie in the poor material facilities or low teaching quality. The problem is that students still prefer state owned schools to non-state owned schools, because they think state owned schools are always better.

“With few students, the investment capital of tens of billions of dong is really a big waste,” Tieu said.

In the latest news, Do from the Hanoi education department said the department plans to apply necessary measures to reduce the numbers of students in every class at state owned schools. This would not only help improve the teaching quality at state owned schools, but also help increase the student supply for non-state owned schools.


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