Viet Nam News
BÌNH DƯƠNG — The southern Bình Dương Province is inviting private investors to build schools in an attempt to tackle the acute shortage of classrooms for new students.
Bình Dương, which is home to many industrial zones, experiences a large increase in the number of students every year due to rising numbers of immigrant workers.
“Investment in education from the private sector is encouraged because the province is unable to build enough new schools,” Dương Lê Nhật Nam, deputy director of Bình Dương’s Department of Education and Training, said.
“The greatest problem we face is that the land fund for education is depleting, whereas the number of students is skyrocketing in some localities,” he said.
He said the number of students at all levels, from nursery to high school, in the province was expected to rise by 30,000 in this school year.
“With an annual increase of up to 30,000 students, the province needs to build at least 30 to 40 new schools each year, costing about VNĐ3 trillion (US$133 million),” he said.
He said many schools had prepared plans to “stuff as many as 45 to 50 students into a classroom” in this school year, which begins in September, because there was no other solution.
The province has sought several ways to tackle the problem, such as repairing old classrooms and reducing the number of day-boarders, to create more space for students.
Priority in school enrolment is given to children of permanent residents or those having stayed in a locality for more than six months, in order to avoid overloading in localities that have a huge number of immigrants.
Another solution, according to the Department of Education and Training, is that companies can build their own nursery schools in the precinct of their factories to look after workers’ children.
Twelve private companies in the province have built nursery schools on their land, which were able to accommodate 2,400 children, the department said.
Phan Thị Ánh Hồng, a worker of Shyang Hung Cheng Company that has built its own nursery school, said the model was very helpful and convenient.
“By having a place to take care of our children, we feel secure and have a stronger attachment to our company,” she said. — VNS