Too many of the city's pre-school and primary schools are bursting at the seams as demand increases.
This new school year there are nearly 1.54 million students in Ho Chi Minh City, 85,000 more than last year. Pre-school has seen the highest growth, by 26,000 children, followed by primary school with 25,000. Districts on the outskirts of the city have seen sudden increases, such as Binh Tan (12,600), Binh Chanh (11,000), and District 12 (8,300).
High student numbers breaks the standard of 45 classes per school in primary school. For example, Vinh Loc A Primary School in Binh Chanh district has 61 classes, with each class having 50 students or more. Many other schools have over 50 classes, and some even have over 60 students in each class.
According to Mr. Ngo Van Tuyen, Head of the Binh Tan Department of Education, the area standard is 8 to 10 sq m per student but in the district it is 3.4 sq m in primary schools and 5.8 sq m in secondary schools. This reduces education quality and teachers must work more as enrollment numbers increase.
Mr. Nguyen Tri Dung, Head of Binh Chanh Department of Education, said they are concerned about building new classrooms for students. There is also a shortage of teachers and staff in Binh Chanh, with only half of all positions being filled.
To prepare for this school year, Ho Chi Minh City has built 44 new schools but it cannot keep up with rising demand. Mr. Le Hoang Quan, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, said previously that the city has spent VND17 trillion ($765.5 million) on schools but it is still not enough.