Teachers of Lien Huong School, Ha Tinh Province have fallen into debt after borrowing money to help build a school for the commune.
In order to have such a nice school, many teachers are trying to pay the debt for the commune
Until 2005, infrastructure of Lien Huong Junior High School, Duc Huong Commune, Vu Quang District, Ha Tinh Province was damaged seriously so teachers and students of the school struggled with the learning environment.
From 2003 to 2005, the People’s Committee of Duc Huong Commune and Lien Huong’s school board members coordinated together to seek a financial source for building a new school.
They mobilised teachers of the school to borrow money from the bank so that they would have enough money to cover the school construction costs. The teachers were promised that the responsibility of paying all of the debt would be taken care of.
These teachers borrowed hundreds of millions dong from a branch of Vietnam Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development based in Vu Quang District.
Construction of the school was finished 5 years ago however, the People’s Committee of Duc Huong Commune and the school has yet to keep their promise to the teachers.
Teacher Truong Ba Nang borrowed VND16 million ($815) for the commune. However, the commune paid only VND3 million ($153) to the bank.
Teacher Nang does not know when the remaining money can be paid. He moved to work for Huong Tho Junior High School but he still has to deal with the debt, “I started working at the new school in March 2009. I have to borrow money to pay interest to the bank.”
Teacher Nguyen Viet Hung shared, “I borrowed VND12 million ($611) from the bank in 2005 to help with the school construction. Now I have worked at Duc Tho District for one year, but the Duc Huong Commune and the school have not cleared this loan for me. The bank keeps asking me to pay the debt!”
Many other teachers have more serious troubles because they didn’t make a written commitment with the commune and school when they borrowed money from the bank for them.
Teacher Pham Khac Toan said, “I borrowed VND15 million ($764) for the commune. They have not paid a penny of it to the bank. Unfortunately, I did not make a contract with them when I borrowed money. Now I do not know how I can claim the money.”
These teachers have complained to commune authorities and the school board members. They even submitted their claims to the Court of Vu Quang District in hopes that the court would help them.
“Most teachers who borrowed money for the commune are young. The proper authority should have created favourable conditions for them to work. It’s unacceptable after these teachers helped the commune that they should have to try to pay the debts themselves,” said teacher Tien from Lien Huong Junior High School.
“The commune and school held many meetings regarding this issue. In each meeting, they promised to clear the all the debt. However, they never do as they promised,” shared a teacher.
Nguyen Ba Thanh, principal of Lien Huong Junior High School, affirmed that many teachers of the school had borrowed money for the commune for the school’s construction. “The school’s accountant is on leave now so I don’t know how many teachers borrowed money for the commune and how much they borrowed in total,” said teacher Thanh.
Teacher Thanh added that the commune and school planned to hold a meeting to encourage parents to contribute money. After that, they will have money to pay the debt for the teachers.
Le Hao Quang, vice chairman of Duc Huong Commune said, “The construction budget was contributed by local authorities and civilians. However, this amount of money was not enough so the last term authority requested teachers borrow money for them from the bank to build the school. The commune has not paid all the debt for the teachers as promised because they have not managed to have enough financial resources. At present, we are looking for other ways to pay debts for the teachers.”