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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sub-standard kindergartens boom in new urban areas

Private kindergartens have mushroomed in the new urban areas in Hanoi, but many offer low-quality services.
 Children at the Sunrise Kindergarten resort to playing on the pavement
Private kindergartens such as the Bup Mang Xanh Class or the Viet My Kindergarten School in Dai Kim new urban area are located in private houses. Because the children play and study in the teacher's home, the facilities are often quite poor.
Others private kindergartens also face the same situation. If they are not teacher's homes then they are in rented houses that offer little space for the children’s recreation. One of such kindergarten is the Sunrise School, one of the school belong to Minh Phuong Private Kindergarten in Linh Dam urban area, where children have to play on the pavement.
Viet Hung urban area in Long Bien District also houses at least nine private kindergartens.
Despite the high number, Nguyen Nhu Dien, a resident in Viet Hung urban area said his family had to send his five year old grandchild to a school far from home. "My family's income is low while the tuition in this area is always around VND2.3-3 million per month (USD110-143). We can't afford it," he said.
Dang Van Truong, Head of Hoang Mai District Department of Education and Training said they had 26 of both public and private kindergarten schools. In addition, 150 small-scaled private classes have been granted permission to operate in the district. Only official kindergarten schools are required to follow urban planning rules.
According to Truong, one of the reason for the blooming of private kindergartens is because new urban area such as Phap Van-Tu Hiep or Linh Dam lack enough public schools.
Another reason is the population bloom. Hoang Mai District's population has increased from 180,000 to 350,000 in the last nine years and the public schools can only meet 40% of demand.
The Ministry of Education and Training recently asked the local departments to survey and suspend substandard kindergartens. The ministry is also encouraging kindergartens to provide favourable conditions so they meet set standards.
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