The ongoing project of building concrete classrooms nationwide and boarding houses in remote areas for teachers in 2008-12 is behind schedule, with only 66.3 per cent of classrooms and 71.2 per cent of boarding houses completed.
The project seeks to eliminate the need for three-shift classrooms and makeshift classrooms (thatch-roofed classrooms and classrooms built with temporary materials) and supply enough boarding houses for teachers who leave their primary residence to teach in remote areas.
It plans to build 141,300 concrete classrooms and 1.6 million sq.m of boarding houses with a combined capital of VND47.6 trillion (US$2.2 billion) from the Government and local budgets.
The project has finished building nearly 76,000 concrete classrooms and 22,000 boarding houses, Viet Nam Economic Times has reported.
Tuyen Quang, Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Hai Duong, Hung Yen and Quang Binh provinces have completed less than 35 per cent of the classrooms and boarding houses to be built under the project.
As of the beginning of this year, provinces and cities had been granted a total of VND15.34 trillion from the Government, equalling 89.6 per cent of the Government's total allocated budget for the project.
Tran Duy Tao, head of the Ministry of Education and Training's (MOET) Department of Material Facilities, School Equipment and Children's Toys, said the increasing price of construction materials and labour costs had slowed progress.
Mountainous localities failed to meet the target because of the price hikes of construction materials while localities in delta and urban areas failed to meet the target because of high compensation needed for land clearance, Tao said.
In addition, the implementation of procedures for building classrooms and boarding houses in localities was still slow, he said.
To solve the problem, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan said the Government would instruct relevant ministries and agencies to work with localities to grant capital from State budget and Government bonds for the project.
The MOET has also petitioned the Government to allocate additional Government bonds to complete the project.
The MOET will work with several ministries to divide the remaining VND1.6 trillion from the Government's total budget allocation for the project among localities in 2011-12. It has also planned to adjust the project during the 2011-15 period, which will require an additional capital of VND40 trillion to build 63,000 new classrooms and 35,000 boarding houses. — VNS