School fees burdens students, expulsion threatened for non-payment

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VietnamNet English - 54 month(s) ago 11 readings

School fees burdens students, expulsion threatened for non-payment

VietNamNet Bridge – Parents knew that schools would probably require students to pay supplementary fees at the beginning of the school year, but they could not imagine that they would have to pay so much money.

Supplementary fee 10 times higher than official tuition

Local authorities plan to raise tuition for the new school year

Provinces delay increasing tuition fees due to poverty

The new school year has officially begun in Vietnam and general schools have announced tuitions and supplementary fees that students must pay.

Under current regulations, students of state-owned primary schools are exempt from tuition and only have to pay the supplementary fees. In fact, the supplementary fees have often become higher than official tuitions.

Tran Thi Huong in Phu Vang District in Thua Thien-Hue province has a son studying at Phan Dang Luu High School. She recalls being “dazzled” upon learning that she must pay 704,000 dong in supplementary fees plus another 200,000 dong for the class fund.

Huong studied the list of fees and found many she terms “unreasonable”. For example, every student has to pay 20,000 dong for so-called “career guidance” and “outdoor activities”. They also must pay 45,000 dong for cleaning classrooms and protecting the environment, as well as 80,000 dong for “information technology activities”.

“We earn our living on sailing. We have two children going to school and we must borrow money to pay tuition and supplementary fees,” she complained.

Phu Thuong 1 Primary School in Phu Vang District has decided to provisionally collect 870,000 dong from every day-boarder student. The sum of money, as explained, are “voluntary receipts” used for the parents’ association, the study encouragement association, the teaching supporting fund and other items. Students must even pay the salaries of physical exercise teachers and security guards (neither are listed on payrolls as able to receive wages from the state budget).

Vi Da Primary School in Hue has requested students to pay 474,000 dong, while 3rd, 4th and 5th graders have to pay an additional 54,000 dong for learning informatics. Xuan Phu Primary School has decided to collect 260,000 dong from every student for the parents’ fund and children union’s fund.

When questioned about supplementary fees, Le Ngoc Hung, Headmaster of Phu Thuong 1 School, noted that everything is getting more expensive, so the school needs to collect more money from students. He pointed out that the school has two campuses, but the State only pays one security guard, so they must collect money from students to pay the other security officer.

“At the end of the 2009-2010 school year, the provincial anti-corruption committee inspected the school and concluded that the sums we request from students were lower than other schools. Therefore, the commune’s authorities have permitted us to collect 10,000 dong more from every student,” he revealed.

Phan Thien Bao, Headmaster of Phan Dang Luu High School, cited that the school organises many cultural activities, therefore, it needs money to pay teachers and students.

In the latest news, an estimated 25 11th graders and five 12th graders of Tran Hung Dao High School in Hue have been forced out of school because they did not pay tuition for August and September nor supplementary fees. Headmaster Truong Dinh Tai confirmed that the school began the new academic year on August 9 and requested students to pay prior to August 23.

“If the students do not pay prior to September 12, they will be expelled,” Tai stated.

Source: Nguoi lao dong

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