The number of students to sit the entrance exam in Hà Nội this year has reached 105,000, an increase of 22,000 over last year’s figure. — Photo vov.vn
HÀ NỘI — In just two weeks, 9th grade students all over the country will take part in the high school entrance exam, which is considered by many to be as important as the university entrance exam.
The number of students to sit the entrance exam in Hà Nội this year has reached 105,000, an increase of 22,000 over last year’s figure. It means that students in the city will have to try even harder to compete with each other.
For Vũ Thị Hoa, a resident in Thanh Xuân District, studying at a public high school is the only option for her son.
She said if her child failed the exam she will have to send him to vocational study, as her family can’t afford to send him to a private school.
Upon hearing the news that this year’s minimum admission score will be significantly higher than previous years, Hoa sent her son to extra classes in private centres to prepare him for the exam.
“At the centre my son can review his classes, and there are teachers there to support him,” she said.
In addition to parents’ worries about their children’s ability to pass the exam, the cost of applications to high schools only adds to the burden.
“With a cost of VNĐ 300,000 (US$13) for a set of application documents, which includes a personal profile of the candidate and their related academic information. On top of private classes, the total cost of a high school exam can reach extortionate amounts. It’s too wasteful for the education system,” said Nguyễn Thị Thu, mother of a 9th grade student, who lives in Đống Đa District.
Another mother said she had paid close to VNĐ1 million (US$44) to purchase a set of application documents for her son.
“When I came to register my child the queue was in the hundreds. I’ve heard some schools recorded 3,000 applications. It’s an unbelievably high number,” she told Lao Động (Labour) newspaper.
Some schools don’t limit the number of application forms sold, even once they surpass the target number of students, she said.
She questioned what the schools will do with the money after they sell out the dossiers.
The mother cited some schools which announced they could only admit a few hundred students, but have sold thousands of dossiers.
Such schools include those for gifted students such as the high schools for gifted students under the Hà Nội Foreign Language College and the Hà Nội University of Science.
“It’s too expensive to pay VNĐ300,000 for a dossier. Is it just a way to make more money?” Hoa questioned.
Meanwhile, many other schools set up mock high school exams which cost between VNĐ60,000-120,000 for each subject.
Trần Tú Khánh, from the Planning and Finance Department under the Ministry of Education and Training noted that there is currently no regulations on fee collection for schools which enjoy financial autonomy. However, they are required to publicise the cost before collecting fees.
A management official from a university said that the cost of a set of dossiers, plus exam fees, should stand at just VNĐ200,000. This would cover all expenditure for the exam supervisors and administration work.
The cost of VNĐ300,000-450,000 per a set of application documents is too high, considering that the higher the number of applications, the cheaper the cost of the process. — VNS