The government is planning to remove tuition fees for ethnic minority preschoolers and secondary school students, the annual government conference held recently heard.
“The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) will work with the Ministry of Finance to prepare a report for the Central Party Committee and the National Assembly on removing tuition fees for preschool education for five-year-old children who are ethnic minorities and have difficult socioeconomic conditions and for secondary school students,” according to Resolution No. 89 from the government.
At an MoET conference held on August 5 to review the 2015-2016 academic year and prepare for tasks in the 2016-2017 academic year, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam spoke about removing tuition fees for secondary school students, saying that while fees are not high they are still a concern for parents.
Collections of secondary school tuition fees total around VND2 trillion ($89.6 million), which divided by the country’s 63 cities and provinces is insignificant. Only primary school students are currently tuition-free.
Under Decree No. 86/2015, tuition fees at public preschools, secondary schools, and high schools range from VND60,000 ($2.68) to VND300,000 ($13.44) per student in urban areas, from VND30,000 ($1.34) to VND120,000 ($5.37) in rural areas, and from VND8,000 ($0.35) and VND60,000 ($2.68) in mountainous areas.
In the 2016-2017 academic year, tuition fees were adjusted in line with the consumer-price-index (CPI) announced by the Ministry of Planning and Investment. Based on the situation in each city or province, the local people’s council then determined the fees.
Tuition fees for the 2016-2017 academic year in Ho Chi Minh City remained unchanged, at VND85,000 ($3.8) to VND100,000 ($4.48) in secondary schools. In Hanoi tuition fees increased.
Decree No. 86 on collecting tuition fees and exemptions stipulates certain cases whereby students do not have to pay tuition fees: students who have contributed to the communist cause, children of those who have contributed to the communist cause, disabled students, and students under 16 years of age from poor families, as stipulated in Article 5 of Decree No. 136/2013.
University students studying majors that the government has prioritized are also exempt from paying fees.
MoET figures for 2015 show that student numbers reached about 22.21 million, 337,937 higher than in 2014.
There were 4.42 million preschool students (up 180,000), 15.08 million primary, secondary, and high school students (also up 180,000), 350,000 vocational training students (down 72,000), and 2.36 million university students (up 38,000).
Teachers and lectures totaled 1.24 million, an increase of 14,383. There were 277,684 teachers in preschools, 856,730 in primary, secondary and high schools, and 10,911 in vocational schools, as well as 91,183 lectures at universities and about 300,000 senior managers at all levels.VN Economic Times