Most of the private run nursery schools in HCM City have raised prices of kid’s meals while state owned schools find it hard to do so.
Menus changed regularly
The 14A Nursery School in District 5 in HCM City committed earlier this school year, that it will not raise the fees for kid’s meals, therefore, it now has to struggle to provide nutritional meals with just VND12,000 (USD0.57) per child per day. 12,000 dong is the lowest fee for meal if compared with other schools in the same area.
The same situation is faced by the 14B Nursery School in District 5. Meanwhile, the Hoa Mi 2 Nursery School, though having raised the meal service fees, still have to change menus, because the food price has been increasing dramatically.
Nguyen Thu Diem, Headmaster of the 14A Nursery School, admitted “that with just VND12,000 (USD0.57), it is impossible to ensure nutritional meals for children.” “The Ministry of Education and Training has called on nursery schools to offer diversified menus to children. However, I am afraid we cannot do this,” Diem said.
In order to contrive to provide meals when everything is getting more expensive, the school has to “renovate the menus” by offering meals with less meat and more fish and more vegetables. Instead of the expensive food, the school has been trying to use cheaper food instead.
“Most of the parents of the kids at our schools are regular employees who do not have high income. Therefore, it would be better not to raise the meal service fee,” Diem said.
The Nhi Xuan Nursery School in Cu Chi District in HCM City also has to change the menus of children to make the meals less costly. “Many people have great difficulties, therefore, we dare not ask for additional money. What we can do now is just contrive to live together with the price storm,” said Dang Thi Thu, the school’s headmaster.
Trying to “hold out” until the end of the school year
At the Hoa Mi 2 Nursery School, the meal service fee always increases by 2000 dong after every Tet, because the school anticipates that the food price always increases to the new levels after Tet. Therefore, the meal service fee has increased from VND15,000 (USD0.71) to VND17,000 (USD0.81).
According to Tang Lang, Headmaster of the school, VND17,000 (USD0.81) is a reasonable price which can ensures nutritional meals for the kids. Lang said that the school has about 1000 children, therefore, it is not too difficult for the school to balance revenue and expenditure. However, it would be more difficult for the schools with just hundreds of kids.
In fact, the food price increase after Tet has been anticipated by many schools. However, the prices have been increasing more sharply than previously predicted. Therefore, many schools have to try to “hold out” until the end of the year, because they cannot raise the meal service fee at this moment.
Many state owned schools also attempt to raise the meal service fee. However, state owned schools have to follow many procedures to do that.
Truong Thi My Dung, Headmaster of the Trang Dai Nursery School in Bien Hoa City, told Tien phong, that the school will only be able to raise the meal service fee when the new school year begins, because the tuition levels need to get the approval from the ward’s people’s committee, the local education sub-department and parents association. It is expected that the meal service fee will increase from VND13,000 (USD0.62) to VND16,000 (USD0.76) per day.
Trieu Vy Hung, a parent, said “that higher expenses for meals will make the burden on parents heavier.” However, Hung said “he will accept to pay higher for the kids’ meals, because he has no other choice.”
An official of the district 4’s education sub-department said that many nursery schools commit not to raise the meal service fee, but the commitment does not have much significance, because the schools will have to put the kids on short rations.