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School roof collapse haunts parents, students

Update: January, 20/2018 - 09:00
Rough: Students of Trần Nhân Tông High School are studying in dangerous conditions. - Photo hanoimoi.com.vn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – A ceilling collapse at Trần Nhân Tông High School in Hai Bà Trưng District is still haunting students and parents more than four months after it happened. They claim that no proper solutions have been taken to improve school safety.

After the incident in October, teachers and students still feel threatened. Phan Thanh Tùng, principal of the school, said students had been moved out of unsafe areas, walls and ceilings had been replastered. However, he said these were only temporary solutions.

“Similar incidents have happened before. We worry that our children will suffer again some day,” said Hoàng Thị Oanh, the parent of one student.

She said poor construction was common at public schools, especially in Hoàng Mai and Thanh Trì.

Nguyễn Thị Hà Thanh, principal of Ngọc Hồi High School in Thanh Trì District, told Hà Nội Mới newspaper that the school still had heavily damaged classrooms and function rooms.

Sixty-year-old Sơn Công Secondary School in Ứng Hoà District is experiencing the effects of time. More than 300 students are divided into only nine classrooms as the others are too vandalised.

“We do not have any library, infirmary or supporting facilities. Even the principal and other teachers have to share a room. The next school year puts us in a difficult situation as the number of sixth graders is predicted to increase,” said Nguyễn Văn Võ, school principal.

Hà Nội Department of Education and Training has asked schools to review their infrastructure in preparing for the 2018-2019 school year, especially as the number of tenth year graders is expected to rise sharply in the next three years.

Nguyễn Viết Cẩn, planning and finance head of the department, has called for the best-laid plans by schools to improve study conditions.

“About 60,000 students will enroll in high schools by 2021. The class size may excess 40 students per classroom. Therefore, schools are asked to check on their facilities to register suitable enrollment numbers,” he said.

On the other hand, as school principals suggested, the safe studying environment was not an exclusive issue for the education sector.

“The plan to renovate and upgrade the school was developed 16 years ago, but has not been implemented. Moreover, there are houses located on the school campus," said Thanh.

Trần Thanh Tùng, a student’s parent at Ngọc Hồi Secondary School, may choose another school for his son despite Ngọc Hồi High School’s favourable location.

“Its poor construction will definitely create negative impacts on its educational quality,” he said.

According to Cẩn, there are nine school infrastructure upgrade projects prioritised for 2018 including Trần Nhân Tông and Ngọc Hồi high schools. An investment of VNĐ104 billion (US$4.5 million) has been allocated by Hà Nội People’s Committee to improve schools’ construction.  – VNS

 

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