National standard schools become substandard

VietNamNet Bridge – A lot of schools have been trying to upgrade their facilities and teaching quality to be recognized as national standard schools. However, their efforts have been in vain because of the overly high numbers of students.

National standard schools, substandard

Eighty nursery schools and 40 primary schools in HCM City have been recognized as national standard schools so far. However, a lot of national standard schools have become substandard because they have to receive too many students this year. Especially, primary schools complain that they are getting overloaded with first graders – those, who were born in 2007, the year of golden pig.

The Ben Thanh Nursery School in district 1, one of the first national standard schools in HCM City, has “broken the standards” for the last three years because of the excess in the number of children in every class compared with the allowed level.

The 19/5 nursery school is facing the same situation. After the great efforts, the school successfully organized the classes with 35 students in every class to be recognized as the national standard school in 2001. However, the number of the school’s students has been increasing rapidly from 650 to 1,000. The school has to use every room available to organize classrooms for children.

The lack of classrooms proves to be even more serious at primary schools. A report of the district 9’s education and training sub-department showed that the schools in the district this year receive 5,000 first graders, while the figure was just 3,000 in previous year.

Primary schools have been struggling hard to preserve the title “national standard school.” The Phuoc Long A Primary School, for example, has decided to transfer the 127 students to the Phuoc Long B School which is under the construction, to ensure the reasonable number of students in every class. However, the decision has faced the strong opposition from parents.

Schools get tired of “standards”

Under the current regulations set by the Ministry of Education and Training, there must not be more than 30 classes in a national standard school, while there must not be more than 35 students in every class. The average land area for every student must not be lower than six square meters in the inner areas and 10 square meters in the suburbs of the cities.  The schools also have to have necessary functional rooms, teaching aids and good material facilities.

A paradox exists that the schools in the district 1 and 5, which have outstanding teaching and learning achievements are not the national standard schools. Meanwhile, parents still strive to send their children into the “substandard” schools.

A senior official of the district 1’s education sub-department said if considering the teaching and learning norms, the Nguyen Binh Khiem and Dinh Tien Hoang are more than capable to meet the standards. However, they cannot be recognized as standard schools just because of the high numbers of students.

The headmaster of a primary school in district 5 said that schools have become tired of the “national standards,” because they have to struggle too hard and spend too much money every year to protect the standards.

The Nguyen Van Troi Primary School in district 4 is believed to have the best material facilities conditions in the city with playing field, swimming pool and functional rooms. However, it cannot become a standard school because it has 33 classes instead of 30.

Thanh Mai

National standard schools, substandard