HCMC international school ordered to halt teachers' strike

By Le Nguyen   March 20, 2024 | 09:51 pm PT
HCMC international school ordered to halt teachers' strike
An empty classroom at the AISVN in HCMC, March 19, 2024. Photo provided by a parent at the school
The HCMC Education Department has demanded that the American International School Vietnam (AISVN) address and put an end to the ongoing teachers' strike.

Nguyen Van Hieu, Director of the HCMC Department of Education and Training, on Wednesday requested the school board and the school's principal to promptly implement measures to continue teaching the students and safeguard their rights. He added that the school must provide daily reports on its activities to the department before 3 p.m.

"If students wish to transfer to other schools, AISVN must comply with their parents' wishes," he said.

The department has also urged other schools to offer opportunities for AISVN students to transfer in order to avoid disrupting their education process.

Previously, on March 18, around 1,400 students at AISVN had to stay home due to a teachers' strike over unpaid salaries and insurance. Although the school reopened on March 19, it warned of "unavoidable disruption."

Several parents and students reported that most classrooms were without teachers. Consequently, students either self-studied or gathered in areas such as the canteens, library, or yard.

Nguyen Thi Ut Em, head of the AISVN board, said that the school is facing significant financial challenges, owing its teachers and staff up to two months' worth of salaries and insurance.

Established in 2006 in Nha Be District, AISVN offers the International Baccalaureate program. Tuition fees range from VND280-350 million (US$11,300-14,100) per year for kindergarteners, VND450-500 million for primary school students, to VND600-725 million for middle and high school students.

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 remained unpaid.

HCMC boasts 35 schools with foreign capital, predominantly utilizing curriculums 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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