Yesterday, at a press conference organized by the Office of the Government, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan talked about new policies on loans to students. These policies are based on the Government’s decision No. 157 that no students should drop out of school because their families can not afford their tuition fees.
Accordingly, underprivileged students of both state and private universities, colleges and vocational schools can borrow up to VND 800,000 from the Social Policy Bank to cover their tuition fees. The students will pay a low interest rate of 0.5% per month.
The Deputy PM revealed that the bank will receive funding of VND500 billion from the state budget and at the same time it will issue bonds of a total value of VND 2,000 billion. Plans also include mobilization of idle capital from the public to ensure this project receives adequate funding.
|No matter how tuition fees will be adjusted, the government will never let any pupil or student drop out of school because their parents cannot afford their tuition fees.|
Mr. Nhan pointed out that so far, knowledge and skills of students who graduate from universities, colleges and vocational schools in the country, have not met the demand of the labor market. This is due to their schools’ lack of quality training, which is always due to low tuition fees.
Indeed, due to low tuition fees, schools not only have to cut down their operation expenses but also ignore the demands to upgrade their infrastructure or to invest in the improvement to the quality of their training.
Mr. Nhan pointed out that giving loans to students will pave way for students to be able to pay higher tuition fees, and thus schools can collect higher fees and offer a better product. This will create more opportunity for schools to access more money and enhance their quality by upgrading their facilities and/or investing in new, modern equipment and teaching aids.
Mr. Nhan revealed that pupils of at present elementary schools are enjoying free education and the government is using 35 percent of the state budget for their education.
“ So far, our country has been caught in a vicious circle, in which a poor country leads to parents’ having low incomes and to students’ having low tuition fees and this creating low quality educational and training services,” emphasized the Deputy PM.
The Prime Minister announced that the Ministry of Education and Training will publicize its draft fee schedule by the end of October. Its aim is to gather suggestions from teachers, parents, pupils and education officials. Based on the suggestions, the Ministry will determine reasonable tuition fees for schools at all levels.
Mr. Nhan stressed that no matter how tuition fees will be adjusted, the government will never let any pupil or student drop out of school because their parents cannot afford their tuition fees.
Mr. Nhan committed the Government to the continuation of financial support to the education sector. Funding such as this will facilitate improvements to training quality and at the same time create equal opportunities for children of disadvantaged families to go to school.
For tertiary education, the Deputy Prime Minister said that universities and colleges in the country will be allowed to operate in a financially independent way and thus they can compete with each other. This is especially so in the instance of universities or colleges that offers good quality training. These institutions will be able to gain more money by attracting more students and collecting higher fees.