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Private schools make public contributions

Update: December, 19/2012 - 10:44

HA NOI (VNS)— Tax, interest rate preferences and financial support should be given to non-public educational institutes as their work is key to the success of education and socialisation, experts said at a conference yesterday.

Dr Dang Quoc Bao, former dean of the National Institute of Education Management, said nearly 80 per cent of kinder-garten children, more than 30 per cent of high-school students and 21 per cent of higher education students are studying at non-public educational institutes.

Professor Pham Tat Dong, former vice president of the National Committee for Science and Education said this year alone, enterprises have also contributed VND226 billion (US$10.7 million) to the Viet Nam Association of Promotion Education for scholarships for students, he said.

Experts agreed these are the best demonstrations of the contributions made by non-public educational institutes towards education and socialisation. However, Dr Tran Xuan Nhi, president of the Viet Nam Coalition For Education for All said most of the non-public educational institutes have failed to get any support in terms of land or credit for the formation of their schools, although the State has published these policies for several years.

In terms of tax policies, many localities have collected tax from non-public educational institutes proportionate to that of a private company, he said.

If they wish to enjoy any tax preferences, they have to meet strict conditions such as having a land area of 25 sq.m per student, he said.

Bao said non-public schools should be exempt from tax at least until they earn their own benefits. In cases where they have to pay tax, a part of that tax should be given back to them to improve facilities such as libraries or laboratories.

Nhi said the State should provide land for all non-public schools and give them borrowings at preferential interest rates for infrastructure construction.

Bao said it is necessary to form assistance funds for students at such non-public schools.

He explained the State should take responsibility for offering education services for them. When the State is unable to offer students a fee-free seat in public schools at kindergarten, primary and secondary levels, they should still enjoy this right in different forms, he said.

Dr Nguyen Thi Hong Yen, deputy director of the National Institute of Educational Sciences, said a new tuition fee system should be formed to ensure appropriate sharings among the State, learners and other social institutions.

For example, as with public kindergartens and secondary schools, the State budget should be a main financial source to ensure their operation. Meanwhile, at public vocational training centres and higher education institutes, learners should take responsibility to pay a part of education costs, she said, adding that it would encourage non-public education institutes to be formed. — VNS

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