VietNamNet Bridge – The price increases of gas, electricity, water and essential goods have forced schools to consider raising tuitions. Meanwhile, parents are living in fear because they understand that tuitions will be increasing, sooner or later.
Students of the Dang Khoa private high school in District 1 of HCM City became angry when they heard that the school would raise the tuition for month of March. However, they have been reassured by Le Trong Chi, the Headmaster of the school that the school will not raise tuitions until the end of the academic year.
Chi admitted that the sharp price increases have caused big difficulties for the school’s operations. The school is paying more than 100,000 dong for utilities for every teaching hour. The prices of all goods have been sharply increasing thus making meals more expensive. Boarders only have to pay 4.5 million dong a month, and day-students two million dong a month.
Mai Lien, the owner of Hoa Sen nursery school in Go Vap district in HCM City, also said that everything is getting more expensive, from rice and meat to fruits. Eels, for example, are selling at 150,000 dong per kilo instead of 130,000 dong, shrimp at 100,000 dong instead of 80,000 dong, while field crab at 60,000 dong instead of 45,000 dong. “However, we cannot ask parents to pay more money at this moment,” she said.
Similarly Hermann Gmeiner in Go Vap district, Hanh Phuc nursery school in Thu Duc district, Ngo Thoi Nhiem School reported they now have to use money from their “reserve fund” in order to arrange meals for the students as usual.
Pham Thi Thuy Vinh, Headmaster of Ngo Thoi Nhiem High School in District 9 has affirmed that despite the price increases, the school is still trying to provide high quality meals without asking parents to pay additional money.
Hoang Thi Hong Hai, General Director of Tri Duc Education Service Joint Stock Company said that the money paid for the water bill of one campus of Tri Duc School in Tan Phu district alone has increased to 7-8 million dong a month. However, she has affirmed that the school will maintain the current tuition levels until the end of the academic year.
Most of the other schools in HCM City have also affirmed that they will only raise tuitions after the academic year finishes, and they will inform about the tuition increases in advance, so that they are prepared for the changes. One of the reasons behind the decision, according to educators, is that schools demanded higher tuitions at the beginning of the school year already, and they cannot ask for another tuition increase during the same school year.
However, the problem now is that while schools have not raised tuitions, some have asked parents to pay additional money for meals. The International Primary School has announced that parents will have to pay 3666 dong more for every meal, or 11,000 dong for three meals during the day. Explaining the decision, the school said that it has been trying to keep prices unchanged since June 2008 despite the price increases. But now the school thinks that parents need to share the burden of the price increases with the school, and that it is necessary to pay more money for meals in order to ensure the quality of meals for students.
Nguyen Thien Minh, Chair of Ngoi Sao Nho Primary School in Binh Tan District, said that a German company is in charge of providing meals to the school at the price of 40,000 dong per day per student. The supplier has asked to increase the price of meals by several thousand dong per day per student. However, the school is trying to negotiate with the supplier, asking the company to follow the contract signed before at the beginning of the year and not to increase prices.
A parent said that several thousand dong is just a small sum of money. However, this would be a big sum of money, if parents have to pay additional money for 24 days a month. “At the beginning of the year, most of private schools raised the tuitions by 10-20 percent. If they ask for more money, we will have to pay, because we cannot transfer our children to other schools when the academic year will finish in two months. However, we will have to rethink our options when the new academic year comes.