Suspected US ‘ghost school’ was endorsed by Vietnam’s education ministry: investors

By Thuy Linh   April 22, 2018 | 05:37 pm GMT+7
Suspected US ‘ghost school’ was endorsed by Vietnam’s education ministry: investors
Tran Thi Thiet, manager of a Dak Lak school, talks about its cooperation with a U.S. school which has been suspected to be a scam. Photo by VnExpress/Thuy Linh

Schools fear loss of reputation and money after being asked to sever ties with George Washington International School.

Vietnamese schools caught up in an alleged U.S. faculty scam are demanding answers from the education ministry, which had previously endorsed their bilingual learning program.

The Ministry of Education and Training ordered all Vietnamese schools collaborating with the George Washington International School (GWIS) to sever ties in an official statement released on Wednesday, after the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam confirmed that GWIS was not found on any list of available schools in the United States.

The affected schools, which gathered in Hanoi on Thursday to discuss the crisis, fear losing reputation and money used to invest in the bilingual GWIS curriculum.

Tran Thi Thiet, Management Board Chairwoman of Victory, a school based in the Central Highlands’ Dak Lak province, said she only decided to collaborate with GWIS after seeing that the ministry had already authorized its programs with several other Vietnamese schools.

The message was echoed by Nguyen Thanh Chung, who has invested over VND1 billion ($44,642) in a school in the central province of Phu Yen and hired GWIS teachers.

Once parents hear about the scam allegations, no one would want their kids to study at his school anymore, Chung said.

Nguyen Thanh Chung, an education investor from Phu Yen Province, talks about possible loss of money from his collaboration with an alleged ghost school from the U.S. Photo by VnExpress/Thuy Linh

Nguyen Thanh Chung, an education investor from Phu Yen Province, talks about possible loss of money from his collaboration with an alleged ghost school from the U.S. Photo by VnExpress/Thuy Linh

“The money I’ve invested in the school, if the collaboration program is suspended, who’s going to pay it back? I may lose my money, but at least I demand a decent answer,” he said.

The ministry has yet to provide a clear answer as to who is responsible for endorsing GWIS.

A GWIS representative is scheduled to meet the ministry next week regarding the scam allegations.

Schools from 14 provinces across Vietnam have been collaborating with GWIS.

 
 
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