HCM City begins to make schools ‘smart’

September 21, 2019 - 08:11
A ‘smart’ model based on IT use in management and communication with students’ families has been adopted at five high schools in HCM City.
A high school student in HCM City uses her smart school card to mark her attendance.VNS File/Pháp Luật Newsmagazine.


Deputy director of HCM City Department of Education and Training, Lê Hoài Nam, speaks about a 'smart' model based on IT use in management and communication with students’ families, which has been adopted at five high schools in HCM City.

HCM City has piloted the ‘School without Cash Payments’ programme, can you tell us about its advantages and challenges?

In 2011, the Prime Minister ratified a project to promote no-cash payment in the country. To implement the project, HCM City’s education sector piloted the ‘School without Cash Payment' programme during 2014-15.

Under the programme, students’ parents use banking services such as ATMs, internet banking, money transfer, and payments through points of sale machines at schools to pay fees for their children instead of cash.

The programme also allows students to use smart school cards (SSCs) for marking attendance, borrowing books from libraries, buying food and water at school canteens and convenience stores, and travelling by public buses.

However, since the programme has [only] been recently launched, schools in HCM City are applying both fee payment modes, allowing parents to either pay through banking services or directly at school.

So far more than 300 junior and senior high schools have applied this school-fee payment mode. In the 2018-19 school year the programme was piloting for Grade 7 students at the Lý Thánh Tông Junior High School (in District 8). The programme is expected to be introduced to all students at the school and spread to five senior high-schools in the city in the 2019-2020 school year.

The introduction of the smart cards was aimed at educating students in non-cash payment and reduce direct contact with cash, thus minimising the risk of using cash.

It will help reduce the time teachers spend to collect school fees and students’ parents spend to go to school and pay fees.


There are concerns about the feasibility of the programme, especially in the suburban areas of HCM City. What measures are planned to ensure its success?

In my opinion, these schools are facing challenges in using IT in management and communication. In the near future, the city Department of Education and Training will collaborate with other relevant agencies to make students and their parents better understand the uses and conveniences of these smart cards.

The department has also asked banks to closely collaborate with schools to guide students’ parents in the use of the smart cards. — VNS