HCMC regulating financial operations at private schools

By Le Nguyen   September 25, 2023 | 07:06 pm PT
HCMC regulating financial operations at private schools
The campus of American Vietnam International School campus in HCMC's Nha Be District. Photo courtesy of the school
Ho Chi Minh City authorities have ordered owners of private schools to draw a line between operating the schools and running their businesses, after an international school failed to return money borrowed from parents.

The city's Department of Education and Training said in a Monday statement that private schools, including international schools, must separate their education and training activities from their businesses, including capital mobilization and financial investment.

The order was made following a case in which parents showed up at the American International School Vietnam (AISVN) in Nha Be District last Thursday demanding the school pay its debts.

The parents said they had signed contracts with the school's chairwoman, Nguyen Thi Ut Em, to let the school borrow money so that their children could study for free.

The school said in a press release later that the loans were actually investments in the school and the sum would be returned within 5 to 15 years from the time the children matriculated at the school.

Speaking to VnExpress on Sunday, a representative from the department said it would send an inspection team to the school on Wednesday to look into its financial situation. The team would then work with the parents later.

HCMC currently has 274,000 students enrolled in private schools from kindergarten to 12th grade.

More than 20 of the schools are international schools, which teach bilingual programs or programs from the U.K., U.S., Canada, and Australia.

Tuition fees for non-public schools range from VND20-270 million (US$820-11,000) per year.

For international schools, the tuition normally hovers around at least VND100 million per year.

For this school year, the highest tuition at an international school in the city rose to VND924 million.

go to top