VietNamNet Bridge – Poor farmers, who have been miserable because of the losses in rice and livestock farming, now have to borrow money to pay children’s school fees.


The 2012-2013 academic year has finished, but the children of Le Thi Huyen, a farmer in Thai Binh province still asked their mother for some more money.

Huyen’s eldest child has finished high school, while the second child has finished nursery school. Both of them need money to take pictures with the classmates for the memories about the school days.

Finally, Huyen decided to borrow VND1 million from her mother to give to the two children. In fact, having photos taken is not compulsory for all students. However, Huyen cannot refuse this, because the teacher personally called Huyen and informed about the activity.

Nguyen Dang Hai in Long Bien district in Hanoi nodded in agreement when the daughter asked for his permission to have photos taken on the academic year closing day. He thought that the photos would cost him some VND100-200,000 at maximum.

However, Hai got exceedingly astonished when hearing from the teacher that he had to pay VND1 million for the 3-4 big sized photos. Hai complained that VND1 million was really a big expense item for his family which has the total monthly income of VND10 million.

Some weeks ago, the parents of the students of a primary school on Vo Thi Sau Street in Bac Lieu City were told to pay money for the academic dress suits for students.

The school’s notice made the parents feel dizzy. In principle, academic dress is used only at the school graduation ceremonies. Therefore, they could not understand why their children, who have just finished the first grades also need academic dress.

A parent said frankly, he does not want to spend hundreds of thousands of dong on a suit which can be used once a year, at the academic year closing ceremony.

The daughter of Tran Van Ngan in Long Bien district in Hanoi showed him a 15 x 20 photo and asked him to give VND150,000 to pay for it. Meanwhile, Ngan affirmed that the market price was no more than VND50,000.

Nguyen Thi Hoa, whose child goes to a private school in Hanoi, noted  that having photo taken in the western-styled bachelor’s suits is now in fashion, not only among university graduates, but also among primary, secondary and high school students. And parents have to pay big money on the suits, on the photos, and on the farewell parties as well.

A student in Hanoi said that his teacher and classmates decided to organize a party to celebrate the high school graduation. However, since the party is organized at a 4-star hotel, every student has to pay nearly VND1 million.

While the sum of money proved to make nothing for the classmates who come from well off families, it is really a big burden on his parents, who are the state employees.

However, the student still had to contribute the required sum of money, because his teacher said that this would be an important event to mark a milestone in the students’ lives. The teacher also said that the headmasters of the school would also be invited to the party; therefore, the party needs to be organized in the best way.

Yen Ba