|HCM City students will study online during the first semester of the academic year. Photo thanhnien.vn|
HCM CITY — HCM City People’s Committee has agreed to waive tuition fees for students at public schools for the first semester of the 2021-2022 academic year.
The director of the city’s Department of Education and Training, Nguyễn Văn Hiếu, on August 31 said the fee exemption was done in an effort to support parents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
HCM City will make compensation via the city’s budget for the exemption, which is allowed under the authority of the National Assembly.
Private schools will set fees agreed upon by the schools and parents. Many schools have proposed an increase from 5 to 10 per cent to retain teachers, among other reasons, although the city has urged schools not to raise tuition.
Even though it has a legal basis, leaders of the Department of Education said that increasing tuition at the moment was not morally appropriate.
The city has also decided to roll out online programmes for students’ first semester. However, because many students do not own the necessary equipment to study online, local residents are encouraged to share their old smartphones, tablets and laptops with students.
“Schools are very willing to accept donations from locals. I sincerely hope that families with good conditions will share their old devices for ones in need. Every school has special cases that need support from donors,” Hiếu said.
About 80 per cent of teachers have received the first dose of vaccine and the Department of Education is planning to coordinate with the Department of Health to vaccinate students 12 years old and above.
When the epidemic is under better control and teachers and students are fully vaccinated, offline school activities will resume.
Lessons on TV
Hiếu said that there will be many solutions to create favourable conditions for parents and students prior to the school year.
The Department of Education and Training has worked with experienced teachers to pre-record lessons and broadcast them on television. Parents can watch TV and study with their children every day.
Students who are currently staying outside HCM City can learn this way or conduct online lessons with their former classmates. When the pandemic is over and they return to HCM City, the Department of Education and Training will accept students’ online learning results.
It is crucial to build a thorough online learning plan for the first semester, Hiếu said.
He added that online learning is a tough challenge for primary school students, but the delay of one to two months of school is not an optimal solution.
Online learning is an acceptable solution and when students return to study in-school, additional solutions will be provided to meet students’ educational goals.
In a related matter, schools will coordinate with ward authorities to deliver textbooks to students’ homes. — VNS