11 July 2017

Parents fret about rising tuition frees in quality public schools

Parents fret about rising tuition frees in quality public schools (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)


Hanoi (VNA) – The news that reputed public schools in the capital city
of Hanoi will increase their tuition fees further in the next academic year has
made many parents worried.

Some reports say the hike in fees would take tuition fees to up to 100 times
that of normal public schools in September, when the 2017-2018 begins.

The latest surge in fees has come after the Hanoi People’s Council approved a
resolution late last year that empowers high-quality public schools at all
levels to raise their tuition fees.

As planned, in the new school year, the maximum tuition fees will be 4.3
million VND (190 USD) for a student per month in high-quality kindergartens and
primary schools; and 4.5 million VND (198 USD) in high-quality secondary and
high schools.

In the previous academic year, 2016-17, the figures were 3.9 million VND (171
USD) and 4.1 million VND (180 USD) respectively, the Phu nu Viet
Nam (Vietnamese Women) newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, it would cost just 55,000- 110,000 VND (2.5-5 USD) per student per
month at all levels to study in a normal public school in Hanoi for
the 2017-1018 academic year. Fees for the previous year were 45,000-70,000 VND
(2-3 USD) for a student per month.

Nguyen Hoang Quan, a resident of the My Dinh Residential Area in Nam Tu Liem district,
said his son was going to the 6th grade in the coming school year.

He was confused and had to deliberate a bit before deciding to register his son
with the Nam Tu Liem Secondary School, the high-quality public school near his
house.

Normally, children are encouraged to study at public schools near their houses
as per the policy of the municipal Education and Training Department, if not
parents had to do complicated procedures to register their children to other
schools. Additionally, public schools would also give priority to children
living near their locations first, then other children. The policy aims to
reduce overloading situation at public schools in the city.

Therefore, Quan said although he already decided to let his son learn at Nam Tu
Liem Secondary School but he still worried about the quality education of the
school.

“I don’t know if the school’s quality matches the money I pay,” he said.

Another father of two children studying in two high-quality schools in Ha Dong
district said he and his wife had lived very economically to save more money
for covering their children’s tuition fees this year.

“The latest increase in tuition fees makes it even tougher for us,” he added.

Hoang Thu Hang of Dong Da district, a mother of a high-quality kindergarten
school’s student, said she was already informed that the tuition fee of his son
would be raised by about 200,000 VND (9 USD) each month for the new school
year.

Although she knows the school her son studied in is already quite good, she
wants further improvement in the quality of education, commensurate with the
additional money being taken from parents, Hang said.

Former Deputy Minister of Education and Training Tran Xuan Nhi said the new
tuition fees were too high, especially for high schools.

Nhi said the model of high-quality public schools should be designed to fit
with the actual situation.

“I think the income of most local residents cannot match the new tuition fees,”
he said.

The average income of a Hanoian is about 3,800 USD per year.

Nhi said the local department of education and training should make its
calculations with greater care so that it can improve the quality of education
for reasonable tuition fees.

It should let each school to decide its maximum tuition fees depending on their
infrastructure and the quality of teachers instead of setting a maximum level
of tuition fees for all schools, he said.

Hanoi now has 18 high-quality public schools at all levels. Under criteria of
the local department of education and training, a school is defined as a
high-quality one if it meets a range of standards on the quality of teachers,
infrastructure and teaching methods.

For example, the school is required to have at least 70 percent of teachers with
a certificate of English fluency issued by the Ministry of Educational and
Training, equal to level A2 under the Common European Framework of Reference
for Languages. It should have modern facilities in the classroom, labs, and
kitchen as well as proper fire-fighting equipment. It should conduct more
outdoor activities to improve students’ life skills and adopt teaching methods
that encourage children to actively think for themselves.

The department said the establishment of high-quality schools was aimed to
serve residents’ demand for high-quality education.

It plans to construct an additional of 20 high-quality public schools by 2020
to raise education quality in the city to regional levels.

The increase in tuition fees would continue in the coming years.

For the 2018-2019 school year, the maximum tuition fee will be 4.7 million VND (206
USD) for a student per month in kindergartens and primary schools and 4.9
million VND (215 USD) per month per student in secondary and high schools.
Corresponding figures for 2019-2020 would be 5.1 million VND (224 USD) and 5.3
million VND (233 USD).-VNA 



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