Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — HCM City will waive fees for secondary school students from the next academic year if it can balance its budget without collecting them, according to Party Committee Secretary Nguyễn Thiện Nhân.
Speaking at a meeting with officials from the Department of Education and Training on Monday, he said the Department of Finance has been instructed to study the proposal and submit to the People’s Council by year-end for approval.
City authorities think everyone has the right to study and have the responsibility to send their children to school, he said.
HCM City is among the localities with the largest number of students in the country, yet its authorities take good care of students and modernise education, he said.
He hailed them for ensuring there are enough schools to accommodate all school-age children.
According to the education department, the city had 264 classrooms per 10,000 school-age people during the 2017-2018 academic year.
In the upcoming year another 882 classrooms will be added. There will be nearly 1.7 million of students, an increase of more than 67,000 from last year, mostly in kindergartens and primary schools in outlying districts in the process of urbanisation.
Every year the city sees an increase of 15,000 in the number of students without permanent residency.
Lê Hồng Sơn, the department’s director, complained about tardy handover of land for building schools.
He wanted priority allocation of funds for upgrading and building new classrooms to achieve the target of 300 classrooms per 10,000 school-aged people by 2020.
The city should allow the addition of more floors at existing schools in inner districts because of the paucity of land, he said.
Nhân ordered the Department of Construction and Department of Planning and Architecture to study this suggestion. He also instructed relevant departments to set up a team to review plans to hand over land to build and expand schools.
Sơn also wanted greater autonomy for public schools in finance and hiring of personnel.
Nhân said schools are encouraged to be independent, but if they increase fees they should ensure poor students can continue studying because the city wants to safeguard everyone’s right to go to school.
Sơn said several districts have yet to hire new teachers for the upcoming academic year, and are sure to face a shortage when schools reopen after the summer holidays on August 20.
Office staff, teachers to deal with psychological issues faced by students and health officials are also vital, but there are no official regulations governing their recruitment, he said.
He called on the city to resolve this issue.
Nhân said the department should make a detailed proposal about this and submit to the People’s Council for approval.
A department report said more than 90 per cent of primary school students in the city study English from first grade.
There is also an increase in the rate of students getting international foreign language certificates.
In the 2017-18 school year universalising education from pre-school to high school levels was carried out efficiently.—VNS