American International School to close in 10 days as most teachers quit

By Le Nguyen   April 16, 2024 | 06:00 am PT
American International School to close in 10 days as most teachers quit
Parents and students participate in an art exhibition at the American International School Vietnam (AISVN) in HCMC, April 9, 2024. Photo courtesy of AISVN
As many teachers have quit and funds have run out, the American International School Vietnam (AISVN) in Ho Chi Minh City can only afford to operate another 10 days, its leader said.

The office of the Head of School of AISVN on Tuesday announced the school year would end on April 26, instead of in June as planned, because a large number of foreign teachers have announced their resignation. Within the last two weeks of April, the school will need to reschedule classes whose teachers have quitted, its Head of School said.

The majority of the remaining teachers choose to continue teaching until the end of April 26 for the sake of the students, refusing to work any further if they are not fully paid.

The school head, who did not want to be named, said its financial situation does not allow it to afford even necessities like electricity, phones, photocopy machines, projectors and buses. As such, April 26 would be the best date to end the school year to ensure stability and necessary support for students and teachers, she added.

She said the school has satisfied the necessary number of studying hours per requirements from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), adding that the organization understands and supports the school’s plan to end the school year early amid its current situation.

Teachers would also draw up studying plans for 12th graders looking to get their International Baccalaureate diplomas, and for 11th graders pursuing the International Baccalaureate program next year.

The school has not announced plans for the next school year.

The HCMC Department of Education and Training reported that 26 foreign teachers and five Vietnamese ones were not present in class during their most recent inspection on April 13. 145 students did not come to school, and 10 foreign teachers filed their resignation that day.

AISVN, established in 2006, provides curriculums under the International Baccalaureate program. It has over 1,310 students.

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.

It faced troubles paying salaries to teachers from late last year, and on March 18 this year, its students were forced to stay home as teachers went on strike over unpaid salaries and insurance.

Head of the school council Nguyen Thi Ut Em then requested for donations from parents to keep the school running, with around 750 parents out of 1,000 agreeing to contribute to the school. By April 13, the school’s account has over VND30 billion ($1.18 million), but the school requires VND125 billion to continue teaching students in classroom until the end of the supposed school year in June.

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

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