Schools funding draws criticism

A proposal for educational financial reform by the Ministry of Education and Training has drawn criticism from educational experts.

Students should pay the same tuition fees (Photo: Mai Hai)

In a letter to the Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper, Dr. Nguyen Quang A, head of the Institute of Development Studies, suggested that the Government should not increase school fees in the current economic climate.

“In difficult times the Government should not only cut tuition but also support students to help them go to school,” he wrote.

Regarding the proposal for six percent of household income to pay for school fees, Dr. Quang A said the idea needs to be reconsidered, as it would take a long time to review every family’s income.

He also disagreed with the suggestion that the rich should pay more for education. If tuition fees distinguish between the rich and the poor, some students may be discriminated against.

“If the Government wants high income earners to contribute to society it should use the income tax tool and appropriately regulate state budget,” Dr. Quang A suggested.

“The government should also involve people in education and this is a very important financial source,” he added.

Prof. Phan Dinh Dieu, chairman of the Consulting Council for Science and Education of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, said that students should pay the same tuition fees.

“I always ask for free education for junior high school students, because the state is implementing universal education at this level,” he said.

“The state lays down a policy of universalizing education in primary and secondary levels but only students in primary school may enjoy free education,” he explained.

“This is not unreasonable,” Prof. Dieu added.

He also disagreed with the ministry’s refusal to cut tuition for students in rural areas.

“The state is responsible for people’s education,” he said.

By Phan Thao-Translated by Dong Nghi

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