Education expert defences Hanoi’s high-quality public school model
  • | NLD, | July 23, 2013 10:21 AM
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Hanoi’s plan to pilot 18 high-quality public schools would help significantly improve education quality and teachers’ incomes, one education expert has said.


Nguyen Hien High-quality School in HCM City’s District 11

Dr. Ho Thieu Hung, former Director of HCM City Municipal Department of Education and Training said, “The quality of education in Vietnam is decreasing as a result of modest state investment in the sector and the modest tuition fees which account for only 5% of local people’s incomes.”

According to him, the plan proves the sector’s efforts to improve the situation as HCM City is operating three such schools.

As a result, high-quality public schools would get the same government investment, training programmes, textbooks and targets, as well as assessment and certificate systems as normal public schools.

However, the number of students in a class at such schools would be significantly lower, around 30, and tuition fees would be much higher than normal public schools.

“Such schools are expected to not only greatly improve teachers’ salaries, but also significantly improve teaching methodology and facilities. Students could get a full-day's study at school, so their test results should be much better and the chance for them to pass their university entrance exams would be improved as well. Students won’t have to attend extra classes or pay any other fees either,” he commented.

Public concerns, however, have been raised over the rich-poor discrimination factor as students from poor families would have fewer opportunities to study at these schools due to their high tuition fees.

“Vietnam is developing a market-based economy; it will obviously result in disparity in people’s incomes and benefits, including education quality. While waiting for the results of the country’s comprehensive education reforms, the government should facilitate the development of some high-quality schools to somewhat improve education quality.” he noted.

He said that the government should continue the effort to satisfy the rights of students of all classes in the society to a good education instead of excluding the better-off from benefiting from higher education services in an attempt at equality.

In order to ensure high education quality at these schools and equal benefits for all people, several essentials should be taken into into account during the setup and operation of such schools.

They must work out clear training targets and make them public as a motive for their realisation.

All local children should have a chance to study at a public school and good teachers from normal public schools should not be moved to work at high-quality public schools.

After a number of years of being recognised as a high-quality school, such institutions should be financially independent and no longer require funding from the government so as to increase the government’s investment in normal public schools.

Such new schools should then hand over their new teaching methods to normal public schools and provide poor students a chance to study via scholarship programmes for excellent students from normal public schools, he added.

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