Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — A significant increase in the number of students for the 2018-2019 academic year in HCM City is putting pressure on schools that lack a sufficient number of teachers and facilities, according to the city’s Department of Education and Training.
The number of students will increase by 67,234 in the upcoming school year compared to last year because of the growth of migrants from other areas and the high number of children born during years considered to have good luck under the Chinese zodiac.
Children born in 2012, the year of the golden dragon, will begin first grade this year; those born in 2007, the year of the golden pig, will start the sixth grade; and those born in 2003, the year of the golden goat, will begin the 10th grade.
Most of the student increase is in districts 12, Gò Vấp, Tân Phú, Bình Tân, Thủ Đức, Bình Chánh, Hóc Môn and Củ Chi, which are all rapidly urbanising and attracting migrants from other provinces and cities.
In recent years, the city’s average number of migrants has been about 15,000 each year.
Ngô Văn Tuyên, head of the Bình Tân District Education and Training Division, was quoted in Giáo Dục HCM City (Education) Online as saying that migrants make up 65 per cent of the district’s total population, including 45 per cent of children studying in the first, sixth and 10th grades.
Many of the new migrants are employed in industrial parks and export processing zones in Bình Tân District.
Despite the population increases, there will be no new public primary or secondary schools this year.
Bình Trị Đông A and B ward in the district have only one public primary school each, while Bình Hưng Hòa A Ward has only one secondary school.
Around 800 children have enrolled to attend the first grade in Bình Trị Đông B ward, but its only primary school can enrol just half of them.
The remaining students will study at Bình Tân Primary School in Tân Tạo Ward and An Lạc 3 Primary School in An Lạc Ward.
At a meeting of the HCM City People’s Council held on July 10, Lê Hồng Sơn, head of the city’s Department of Education and Training, said: “This also limits use of libraries and schoolyards for physical activities, and puts pressure on having less than 40 to 50 students in each classroom.”
Sơn said that 882 new classrooms would open in the 2018-2019 academic year.
The increase in students has also put pressure on public schools, especially at the primary level, to provide boarding services for their students.
In District 12, for example, the number of students provided boarding services this year at primary schools will fall by 4.1 per cent compared to last year.
Lê Thị Hồng Gấm, Hoàng Văn Thụ, Nguyễn Viết Xuân and Trần Quang Khải primary schools in Gò Vấp District will have only one to two classrooms that will provide boarding services.
A representative of Phan Chu Trinh Primary School in Tân Phú District said that, because of the limited number of students with boarding services, the school would give priority to children of families whose parents work at state offices or parents whose jobs are on islands.
Because of the boarding shortage, a number of parents with sufficient finances have decided to send their children to private schools, which provide boarding services and buses to pick up and drop off students.
A resident in Tân Phú District told Việt Nam News that she did not want her daughter to attend Võ Thị Sáu Primary School in Tân Phú District because it lacked sufficient boarding services.
Since there is no family member to pick up the daughter after a half-day shift in the morning, the private school was a good choice, she added.
Tuyên of the Bình Tân District educational division said the city People’s Committee should issue more preferential policies to attract funds from the private sector to meet increased demand.
According to figures from 20 districts, 2,712 more teachers and other staffs are needed for the upcoming academic year.
Of the figure, primary schools need the most, with at least 1,094 teacher vacancies.
Bình Tân and Bình Chánh districts need the largest number of teachers, while the districts of Bình Chánh and Thủ Đức need more kindergarten teachers, around 24 per cent of the total.
This year, teachers will no longer be required to have permanent resident status, which is expected to raise the number of applicants every year.
Teachers who want to change schools now only need to register their information on the department’s website and send their files, including application forms and related documents, to the department’s address.
According to representatives of educational divisions in the city’s outlying districts, more preferential policies for teachers should be issued to help solve the teacher shortage. — VNS