|A driver navigates the course at Ha Noi-based Soc Son Driving Training Centre. Driving centers have mushroomed nationwide as the percentage of people wanting to learn to drive increased by 43 per cent this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung
HA NOI (VNS)— Car driving training centres nationwide will be privatised and equitised by the end of 2014 in a move to improve the quality of training and even the playing field between public and private centres, said Dinh La Thang, Minister of Transport.
There are 316 driving training centres nationwide, of which 125 are privately-owned, according to the Viet Nam directorate for roads.
The percentage of people wishing to learn to drive increased from 25 – 37 per cent between 2004 and 2010 and then jumped to 43 per cent this year. As a result, driving centres have mushroomed.
However, although all facilities compete fiercely to attract learners, state-owned centres have an advantage because they receive all their funding from the State, said Nguyen Van Quyen, deputy director of the Viet Nam Road Administration.
Nguyen Vi Tung, director of a driving centre in Ha Noi, said that his centre struggled with skyrocketing land use fees but could not increase tuition because competition was too intense.
In addition to attracting learners, centres need to have a high rate of passed examinees. Therefore, they have to find ways to help their students pass the exam, which can often be costly.
According to a centre director in the northern province of Hai Duong, a private centre has to pay 50-60 per cent more to ensure that a student passes than a state-owned centre.
Centres often attract learners by cutting tuition fees, which in turn cuts learning time – which means many drivers on the road are not very skilled and there are more accidents, said Nguyen Dinh Nghi, deputy director of the Police Bureau for Administrative Management of Social Order.
To solve the problem, the ministry will tighten supervision over centres. It instructed agencies to create a level playing field between private and state-owned training facilities. — VNS