>> Textbook prices on the rise
Textbook prices in Vietnam have been on the rise, while tens of millions of second-hand textbooks are discarded annually.
In the 2011-2012 school year, the Ministry of Finance agreed to raise textbook prices by 17%.
In the 2011-2012 school year, the Ministry of Finance agreed to raise textbook prices by 17%. Prices increased by 10% in the 2008-2009 school year. This adds to financial burden of many households.
A set of textbooks now costs between around VND100,000 to VND200,000 (USD4.8-USD9.6), depending on the education level.
Meanwhile, tens of millions of textbooks, which have been used once, are simply thrown away, even though the content has not changed.
Tens of millions of newly-published textbooks are still launched each year.
In Vietnam, new editions of textbooks are regularly made because of minor mistakes. This has led to a VND70 trillion (USD3.36 billion) project to reform the high school curriculum, by the Ministry of Education and Training.
However, the programme is facing strong opposition from many experts.
The programme's aim is to bring high school curriculum into line with international standards.
Dr. Nguyen Xuan Han, of the Vietnam National University, Hanoi, added that, as a policy, textbooks should be re-printed every 15 years to avoid financial waste.
Professor Van Nhu Cuong, Headmaster of Luong The Vinh People-Founded School, said “A third of the current textbook content is unnecessary, and should be cut”, adding it was unnecessary to re-write out-of-date material.