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Population increase outstrips school building

Update: March, 31/2016 - 09:00
Students of a Hà Nội's kindergarten do morning exercise in a pavement. While some districts in inner Hà Nội lack land to build schools, dozens of pieces of land in the suburbs of the capital city are left fallow, or used for other purposes. — Photo baogiaothong.vn

HÀ NỘI – While some districts in inner Hà Nội lack land to build schools, dozens of pieces of land in the suburbs of the capital city are left fallow, or used for other purposes.

According to local authorities, many schools in inner Hà Nội, such as in the Hoàn Kiếm and Ba Đình districts, are seriously overcrowded due to uncontrolled population increase.

Trần Huy Hoàng, chairman of the Hoàng Liệt Ward People’s Committee in Hoàng Mai District, told the Tiền phong (Vanguard) newspaper that by the end of last year, the district had 32,627 people. However, that number has now blown out to 51,666.

The reason for the increase was a series of new residential quarters in the ward being opened for use in September last year.

“Traffic and education have been put under great pressure recently by the population increase,” said Hoàng.

A spokesperson for the Vĩnh Tuy Ward People’s Committee in Hoàng Mai District, said that if all the high-storey buildings in the ward were opened for use, in several years the district’s population could reach nearly 80,000, or four times higher than that of a normal district in the capital.

Of all the districts in inner Hà Nội, Cầu Giấy and Thanh Xuân had the highest rate of population increase, said a staff member from the local education sector.

Phạm Ngọc Anh, director of the Cầu Giấy Department of Education and Training, said that the district’s population was increasing by 10 per cent a year.

Regulations state that each primary school class should have 35 pupils, but in fact many schools in Ba Đình, Hoàn Kiếm, Cầu Giấy and Đống Đa districts have 45-55 pupils in each class.

Fallow land

Observations by the Tiền phong (Vanguard) newspaper’s correspondent showed that dozens of pieces of land in developing areas of Hà Nội are left fallow.

Typically, two pieces of land named B9 and C4 in the Nam Trung Yên residential quarter in Cầu Giấy District, which are scheduled to be used for building schools, are currently being used for parking, football and washing motorbikes.

A spokesman for the Cầu Giấy District People’s Committee said that 23 pieces of land in the district were scheduled for the building of schools from kindergartens to high schools, but none of the projects have been started.

“Demand for schools in the district has increased sharply, but school building is too slow,” he said.

The building regulations for schools in the inner city were also unreasonable, he said.

Regulations state that kindergartens must be no more than two storeys high, and primary schools must have no more than three storeys. These regulations did not reflect the real situation of land use in the inner city.

The same situation is occurring in other residential quarters such as Việt Hưng, Pháp Vân-Tứ Hiệp, Văn Phú and Dịch Vọng.

Architect Đào Ngọc Nghiêm, deputy chairman of the Hà Nội Urban Planning and Development Association, said that the population in inner districts of the capital has rapidly increased because municipal authorities have not paid enough attention to the distribution of inhabitants.

The rate that school projects are completed is very slow because the authorities have loosened their management of such projects.

“The municipal People’s Committee should bear the responsibility for this,” said Nghiêm.

According to analysis by the Urban Planning and Development Association, for each increase in the population of 1,000 people, there will be at least 50 extra students, leading to extra demand for schools. -- VNS

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