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Vietnam education can take off only if biased treatment ends: experts

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Analysts say that discriminatory treatment is hindering the development of Vietnam education.

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Most students want to enroll in state-owned schools which have classes of 50-60 students, while teachers prefer working for state-owned schools, accepting pay of hundreds of millions of dong. One of the reasons is that state-owned schools receive big financial support and enjoy preferences, while private schools do not.

Bach Dang, an analyst, in an article published in Giao Duc Viet Nam newspaper, said that discrimination impedes the expansion of private schools.

Most students want to enroll in state-owned schools which have classes of 50-60 students, while teachers prefer working for state-owned schools, accepting pay of hundreds of millions of dong.

Some educators have expressed concern about the draft of the amended Education Law, which is open for public opinion.

The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), which is compiling the draft, for example, suggested ‘exempting tuition for students at state-owned primary and secondary schools’, citing the 2013 Constitution and laws on education universalization.

Nguyen Xuan Kien, a retired teacher, said the constitution does not favor either state-owned schools or private schools, and that discrimination must not exist in the new education law.

“The state’s responsibilities for its citizens are equal, with no discrimination,” he said.

The ministries of Interior Affairs, Finance and Justice have disagreed with the suggestion by MOET.

A teacher in Hanoi, who declined to be named, complained that the Hanoi Education & Training Department ‘made a very unreasonable decision’ when requesting state-owned and private schools to enroll students at the same time.

“Previously, private schools had self-determination in enrollment. They can enroll students any time they want,” she said. “But the education department has suddenly deprived them of the right.”

She believes the reason behind the decision is the enrollment competition between private and state-owned schools. 

“Maybe the education department fears that private schools will lure all students from well-off families and have better student quality,” she said.

Nguyen Minh Tu, a parent in Hanoi, commented that both state-owned and private schools have the same mission of educating students and turning them into useful citizens.

“Discrimination is no longer suited in modern times and it will hinder the training and development of Vietnamese talents,” she said, adding that urban parents were increasingly enrolling their children in private schools.

The Doan Thi Diem School, for example, enrolls 600 students every year in the first grade, but the number of applications is much higher. Vietnamese students account for 15-20 percent of total students at International schools, which require high tuition of VND500 million a year.

Ngo Ha

Source: VietNamNet

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