Parents give American International School $711,000 out of $5M asked to keep running

By Le Nguyen   April 2, 2024 | 12:46 am PT
Parents give American International School $711,000 out of $5M asked to keep running
Students study at AISVN in 2023. Photo courtesy of AISVN
The American International School Vietnam (AISVN) received VND17.7 billion (US$712,000) from parents on Monday, after its plea for support amid financial crisis, and will reopen starting Wednesday.

Tran Phuong Anh, a representative of parents with students at AISVN, on Monday said the joint bank account managed by AISVN, the Department of Education and Training, and parents received the money as of 7 p.m. However, as the account was freshly opened, transactions cannot be made yet to pay salaries to teachers.

In an email sent to parents on Monday night, AISVN said it expects to reopen on Wednesday.

The school has been closed since March 18 amid a teachers' strike over unpaid salaries and insurance.

Its owner Nguyen Thi Ut Em later said the school has been in precarious situation. At a meeting last Saturday with parents and the city authorities, Em asked for VND125 billion of financial support from parents, at least until the end of this school year in June.

She asked for VND9.5 million each month from families of kindergarteners, VND14.5 million for those in primary school, VND20.5 million for grades 6-8, and VND22.5 million for grades 9-12.

Phuong, who has a third-grade child, sent VND43.5 million on Monday "for my child to study for the next three months. I hope authorities can quickly pay the teachers for the students to return to school."

AISVN, established in 2006, has over 1,200 students studying under the International Baccalaureate program.

The school's tuition is VND280-350 million a year for kindergarteners, VND450-500 million a year for primary school levels, and VND600-725 million for middle and high school levels. The school has around 130 foreign teachers, 26 Vietnamese teachers and over 100 other employees. Some 85 teachers have stopped working in the past few weeks.

Em has been forbidden from leaving the country over personal income tax issues.

In October of last year, several parents gathered to demand repayment of debts from the school. They claimed that the school had borrowed tens of billions of Vietnamese dong without interest to enable children to study for free. However, even after the children graduated, the debts remain unpaid.

HCMC boasts 35 schools utilizing foreign capital, predominantly employing curricula from North America and the U.K., supplemented by Vietnamese subjects. Tuition fees at these schools can reach up to VND1 billion per year.

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