The limited land fund and the low budget have been cited as the main reasons that have hindered the construction of schools meeting national standards in the inner Hanoi city.
By the end of May 2012, Hanoi had had 655 schools recognized as meeting national standards, or 28 percent of the total existing schools in the city. Hanoi strives to raise the figure to 50-55 percent by 2015. However, the city would have to do a lot of things to reach that end.
Problems arising everywhere
Under the plan on building standardized schools drawn up by the Hanoi Education and Training Department, in the period from 2012 to 2015, the city would need to have 660 more standardized schools. Meanwhile, in 2015 alone, the city would have to build 128 schools.
The representatives who attended the conference on reviewing the development of national standardized schools held in early July, all expressed their worry that the plan on building standardized schools may be unattainable.
Thanh Tri district is considered the district with the highest percentage of schools meeting national standards (52.5 percent). However, the school development in the locality is also facing barriers because of the regulations on the Dykes Law.
A leader of the district said six schools in the communes of Duyen Ha, Van Phuc and Yen My all can meet the standards in terms of teaching and learning conditions, but they may not be recognized as standardized schools.
The Ministry of Education and Training has lowered the requirements on standardized schools recently in an effort to speed up the process of standardized school development.
The standardized schools in the inner city, where every inch of land can be used for commercial purpose, do not compulsorily have the floor area of less than 6 square meters per student.
However, the new regulation has not helped much in speeding up the process. While inner city areas do not have enough land to build schools, suburb areas, though having land, do not have money to build schools.
Ba Dinh and Hai Ba Trung districts both have the percentage of standardized schools at less than 20 percent. Phu Xuyen district in the suburbs is also a locality with the low percentage of standardized schools, while it needs 700 billion dong more to build 45 more standardized schools.
Tran Cong Thanh, Head of the Education Sub-department in Phu Xuyen district, said the locality budgets over 50 billion dong a year to the construction of schools. However, the budget is just big enough to improve the degrading schools.
Nursery schools ignored?
The average proportion of standardized schools in Hanoi is 28 percent. However, the proportions are quite different for different education levels.
While 46.5 percent of primary schools have met the standards, the proportions are lower at 31.5 percent for secondary schools and 14.4 percent for nursery schools.
Dan Phuong, Thanh Tri, Long Bien, Gia Lam and Ha Dong are the districts which have the highest percentage of standardized nursery schools (over 40 percent). Meanwhile, the figures are very low in Phu Xuyen, Thuong Tin, Quoc Oai and Ba Vi, about 3 percent.
One of the main reasons behind the low number of standardized schools is the lack of investments. Though striving to have 55 percent of its schools meeting standards by the end of 2012, Gia Lam district authorities have admitted that they now can only focus on primary and secondary schools. Meanwhile, only four nursery schools out of the 24 existing schools in the locality can meet standards (16 percent).
Source: Ha Noi Moi/ VNN
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