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Land shortage stymies building of kindergartens for workers' children

Update: October, 06/2014 - 09:07
"In wards and communes with industrial parks in this highly industrialised province, there are 328 kindergartens and family-run daycare facilities, but they are unable to cope with the influx of 6,000-9,000 more children each year." Photo laodong

HCM CITY (VNS) — Shortage of land is preventing provinces and cities in the southern region from building kindergartens for children of workers at industrial parks and export processing zones as required by the Government.

Speaking at a workshop held in HCM City last Saturday (October 4) by the Ministry of Education and Training, Pham Huy Thong, deputy head of the HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (HEPZA), said the increasing migration by workers to major cities is creating pressure on social infrastructure, including schools and kindergartens.

HCM City's 15 IPs and EPZs, for instance, have more than 250,000 workers of whom 70 per cent are from other provinces and cities, he said.

But the approval for many of them does not include land for kindergartens, he added.

The city only has six kindergartens built in or near IPs and EPZs, but has plans to build 18 more. HEPZA is working with relevant agencies and local authorities to find land for this purpose.

Pham Thi Hue Trang of Binh Duong Province's Department of Education and Training said her province too faces a shortage of land for building kindergartens for workers' children.

In wards and communes with industrial parks in this highly industrialised province, there are 328 kindergartens and family-run daycare facilities, but they are unable to cope with the influx of 6,000-9,000 more children each year, she added.

Pham Thi Hai, deputy head of the Dong Nai Province Department of Education and Training, said besides the shortage of land, there are also other problems like lack of incentives such as tax exemption to encourage companies to build kindergartens for their workers' children.

Officials from provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta too said the lack of land is one of the problems preventing from building kindergartens near industrial parks.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thi Nghia said that authorities elsewhere should emulate HCM City and take the initiative to obtain land and offer incentives to companies building kindergartens for workers' children.

Hua Ngoc Thuan, deputy chairman of the HCM City People's Committee, said the city waives tax on land lease for a period of five years for building kindergartens, especially for children of workers at IPs and EPZs.

They are also provided interest-free loans for 15 years from the stimulus fund to build the kindergartens and income tax waiver.

The city also provides training for kindergarten staff.

Nghia told the officials that his ministry would pass on their suggestions to the Government soon to speed up the task of building kindergartens. — VNS

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