Private funds help develop infrastructure at schools

Update: August, 31/2016 - 18:00
Colours of Love programme volunteers paint chairs at Trần Văn Ơn Primary School in District 12. —VNS Photo Gia Lộc
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — There has been great focus on seeking sponsorship or investment from organisations, companies, and individuals in education in HCM City in recent years, said Lê Hồng Sơn, head of the city Department of Education and Training.

Sơn said at a recent workshop that though the city has a large outlay for education -- 26 per cent of its total spending -- it is insufficient.

The private sector, or private funds have been urged to build private schools, upgrade and paint classrooms, and donate teaching and learning aids, he said.

For instance, the 1,380 students of Trần Văn Ơn Primary School, situated in a small alley in the city’s outlying District 12, no longer have to sit in dirty-looking classrooms where whitewash and paint are peeling off  thanks to a corporate social responsibility programme called Sắc Màu Tình Thương (The Colours of Love) by TOA Paint Việt Nam Co.Ltd  and the city’s Social Welfare Centre for Young People.

Thus, in 2014-15, it managed to solicit funds worth VNĐ1.4 trillion (US$64.4 million) from these sources. As a result, the city now has 738 private schools out of a total of 1,980.

The city could achieve those results thanks to the Government’s guidelines.

A Ministry of Education and Training report says that depending on the limited government budgets it would not be enough to develop education.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyễn Vinh Hiển, in an article in the Tạp chí Cộng Sản (Communism Review), also stressed the need to call for support from the private sector in education, saying that thanks to useful programmes by organisations, enterprises and individuals, students, especially in rural areas, have got better learning conditions.

Between 2008 and 2012 local authorities across the country have raised VNĐ6.7 trillion (US$297.7 million) from domestic and foreign sponsors to build or upgrade schools.

To solicit more sponsorship of and investments in education, many provinces and cities are offering more and more incentives such as soft loans at low interest rates.

During the last school year the country had 2,485 private schools out of a total of 42,497. —VNS