Updated  
May, 15 2014 09:30:00

Schools for ethnic students need private funding

These schools allow students to stay overnight because their houses are often in remote areas. — Photo baocongthuong

HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) yesterday called for more efforts to improve the quality of semi-boarding schools for ethnic students and attract more funding from the private sector.

Speaking at a national conference yesterday assessing the quality of semi-boarding schools for ethnic minorities, Deputy Director of Gia Lai Department of Education and Training Huynh Minh Thuan announced that the development of such schools was vital to the socio-economic development of these mountainous regions.

These semi-boarding schools could help retain students, as many of the ethnic students often drop out of schools to work with their parents in the fields or mountains, Thuan noted.

Since 2010, semi-boarding schools for ethnic students have been operated in 26 provinces, with nearly 800 schools serving more than 128,600 students. The construction of such schools from 2010 to 2014 has required an investment of VND132 billion (US$6.28 million).

These schools allow students to stay overnight because their houses are often in remote areas.

However, participants at the conference agreed that many of the schools do not meet the requirements of basic quality of living, such as clean water, adequate beds or kitchens in good conditions.

The government decision issued in 2010 stipulates that financial resources to support boarding schools are guaranteed by local budget, taken from the budget for education and training.

But representatives at the conference raised concerns that these funds are not enough, and to ask local residents for support is very hard since they can only contribute things such as food and burning wood for students.

Nguyen Thi Thu Huyen, director of ethnic affairs department under MoET, noted that most of the staff working in these schools are young and many have trouble in speaking the local ethnic language and knowing how to incorporate the ethnic cultural elements into the activities of the class.

Everyone agrees that the government should pay more attention to the development of these schools, as they are a source of human resources to help sustain the development of the mountainous regions. — VNS

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