Many of Ho Chi Minh City’s schools have begun changing their hours this month in a desperate attempt to get around the vicious traffic snarls in the streets outside every afternoon.
|A traffic jam in front of a high school in Ho Chi Minh City|
Responding to a suggestion by the education department, quite a few high schools have cut out the fifth (and final) period of the day so that the children can get home before rush hour. Other schools have done the opposite by keeping the kids in until 5:30 pm.
To reduce the traffic jams immediately out front, some schools have told their students to exit through different gates and have roped in traffic cops to direct proceedings after the final bell rings.
Nothing has made any real impression. According to school officials, their efforts to make going home easier have been to little avail as parents are still parking their vehicles in narrow streets and blocking the road.
Moreover, the department’s proposal to have kindergartens start at 8:00 am and end at 4:30pm has gone down poorly with parents who cannot leave work early to pick up their children.
Deputy director Nguyen Hoai Chuong of the education department says its proposal for having staggered hours for schools is just a suggestion since it may inconvenience parents with a rigid work schedule.
Mr. Chuong says it’s up to the officials in each district to determine the best solution to the traffic problems in their areas.
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