Hanoi: Parents worried over classroom shortage at schools
Parents in Hanoi's Hoang Mai District are struggling to find extra classes for their children due to overcrowding at local schools.
Parents pick up children at Chu Van An Primary School
Many parents work far from home so they can't pick up and drop their children at schools. They have to spend over VND1m (USD43) to hire motorbike taxi drivers to carry their children to and from school.
Nguyen Quynh Hoa, a parent at Chu Van An Primary School said due to classroom shortages, her child already had to stay home on Mondays and Tuesdays last year. In the end, they had to pay VND1.3m a month for extra classes and lunches.
The school had offered a half-day instead of the full-day programme but the parents said it would be even harder for them.
Dai Tu Primary School didn't recruit enough pupils to meet the quota but it also didn't have enough classrooms.
The headmaster, Nguyen Thi Tam, said because of overcrowding, the pupils only go to school four days a week. The school and the parents have discussed the problem many times but they can't find any better solution.
"Many pupils have to go to school on Saturdays when parents can stay home so they will not have quality time with each other," Tam said.
Many schools blamed bad urban planning as too many apartment buildings have been built without taking schools and parks into account.
There are 167,000 first-grade pupils and 132,000 sixth-grade pupils this school year. Some schools have up to 65 pupils per class.
Dam Thuc Hanh, head of Hoang Mai Department of Education and Training, said this school year, no class in their area had more than 50 pupils.
However, the infrastructure of schools in wards that have many apartment buildings like Hoang Mai District are still inadequate.
In order to deal with overcrowding problem in Chu Van An Primary School, the authorities have transferred a part of the pupils to Hoang Liet Primary School.
Last year, the average number of pupils per class in Tay Ho District was 59.
The local authorities have to build nine schools and upgrade many classrooms to reduce the number to 50. Long Bien District authorities promised to put into use eight new schools in 2020.
Ngo Van Quy, vice chairman of Hanoi, said the city had invested to build 70 new schools, repair and upgrade 387 schools at the cost of VND5trn (USD215m).
However, there are still many schools that need to be repaired.