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HCM City reveals plan to expand classrooms

Update: March, 30/2015 - 10:02
Since 1975 the number of classrooms has only increased 1.86 times to 27,900 to accommodate more than one million students now. — File Photo

HCM CITY(VNS) — The HCM City Department of Education and Training hopes to increase average classroom space to 6-8sq.m for each school student this year by reducing the number of children per class.

It would be increased further to 8-10sq.m by 2020 by also building more classrooms, Le Hong Son, the department head, told a recent fair titled HCM City Education Development.

But because of its limited budget the city would seek to mobilise investment from private sources for the task, he said.

There was always huge pressure to ensure there were enough classrooms for the children of city residents including migrants, he added.

Since 1975 the number of classrooms has only increased 1.86 times to 27,900 to accommodate more than one million students now.

Only 174 schools out the city's 938 meet Ministry of Education and Training standards.

Son said the city led the country in compulsory education at all levels. The city managed to achieve universal education at primary school level in 2002, at high school level in 2009 and at kindergarten level in 2013.

At the national level, primary education was only made compulsory in 2010.

The number of city schools teaching foreign languages has risen to 91 per cent with 75.7 per cent of primary school children learning at least one.

Around 80 per cent of schools also teach computer skills, many of them even to primary school kids.

Preferential policies

The department last Thursday called on district educational authorities to continue beefing up preferential policies to ensure disadvantaged children get their fair share of opportunities.

Mai Phuong Lien, deputy chief of the city planning and finance division, said the annual plans of district education divisions focused on equity for poor children, those with disabilities, ones affected by disasters and other disadvantaged children since 2014.

But many of the plans were only feasible on paper because district education officials failed to collect opinions from other agencies such as district labour divisions and the Vietnamese Fatherland Front committees, he said.

According to a District 4 education division official, the district had an educational centre for children with hearing impairment and learning disabilities.

Of them, children who learnt well would be sent to learn with students without disabilities, he said.

In District 7, many schools also have children with disabilities.

The district education division is set to submit to the local People's Committee a plan for building a specialised centre for teaching children with disabilities.

Nha Be District has 18 kids with disabilities in kindergartens and 147 in primary schools. However, teaching them has been difficult because many of the teachers at these schools are not trained to teach children with disabilities.

Hoang Truong Giang, deputy head of the department's Primary Education Division, said the city had six districts without dedicated centres for children with disabilities. — VNS

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