Tuitions unchanged, but school fees escalating
  • | Vietnamnet | August 17, 2012 06:17 PM

The tuitions for different education levels have been kept unchanged over the last many years, despite the sharp consumer price index (CPI) increases. However, this does not mean that the financial burden on parents has been eased.


School fees is a burden for parents

“Secondary school students only have to pay VND15,000 a month in tuition as stipulated by the State. The sum of money is not enough to buy one bowl of pho ( noodle soup). Therefore, we do not care much about the tuitions, which do not play any important role in maintaining the school’s activities,” said a headmaster of a school in district 1 in HCM City.

It’s obvious that schools do not care about the modest sources of income, because they would rely on the school fees the students have to pay, which have been increasing steadily year after year.

The school fees, in principle, are not compulsory. However, parents still have to pay the fees spontaneously, if they want their children to be taken care well by the teachers.

How much a student needs to go to school?

The Ministry of Education and Training has issued a legal document saying that private tutoring classes must not be organized at schools under any form.

However, the classes still have been mushrooming, while students have been forced to go to the classes, or they would get bad marks at curricular lessons.

The tuitions charged on the students attending the extra classes are much higher than the official tuition levels set by the State.

The tuitions are between VND150,000 and VND450,000 a month for every student, which are 10-30 times higher than the official tuitions of VND30,000 a month for high school student and VND15,000 for secondary school students.

Tran Mau Minh, Headmaster of the Tran Van On Secondary School in HCM City, said that the tuition levels set by the State have become “out of date,” which has forced schools to collect extra fees from students to get money to maintain schools’ activities.

“I think that tuitions should not be required from state owned schools. Only the high quality schools should be allowed to collect fees,” Minh said.

Tuitions low, school fees high

As such, when the tuitions are low, the school fees would be raised to offset the school budget deficit. As a result, parents still have to pay high to fund their children’s study at state owned schools.

Different names have been given to the school fees set up by schools. Parents are called on to contribute money to upgrade the schools’ material facilities. Besides, they have to contribute money to the Youth Union’s fund, parents’ fund, study encourage fund and a lot of others.

Of course, students also have to pay higher for day-boarding services, buses because of the inflation.

Schools living on surcharges, not official tuitions.

A recent survey has found that the total school fees collected from students have always been higher than the total income from tuitions.
In HCM City, for example, schools collected VND296 billion in tuitions from students, while they got VND698 billion dong from other sources. The figures were VND317 billion and VND751 billion, respectively.

Nguyen Thi Huong, whose son goes to the NTT primary school in Hanoi, said that the boy would return to school in some more days, while she has been told to pay one million dong, so that the school can equip with air conditioners in classrooms. Besides, parents would be asked to pay some more money every year for day-boarding students.

The information that the Hanoi People’s Council has decided to reduce the tuitions by VND30,000-40,000 a month has raised a worry that schools would raise the school fees. If so, Hanoians would not be see their financial burden eased as expected by the city’s authorities.

Meanwhile, a headmaster of a primary school in Hanoi, frankly said that the budget allocated to schools is always very modest, while school always has to wait for a long time for the disbursement from the budget. Therefore, the school has to rely on the contribution by the parents to maintain normal activities.

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