Affirming the pre-eminence of the high school system for the gifted, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has asked the localities to build policies for the development of private schools of this kind.
All schools for the gifted are now owned by the state, and MOET believes Vietnam needs private schools as well. However, opinions vary as to the feasibility of the model.
Le Xuan Son, deputy director of Vinh University High School for the Gifted, warned that the quality of education in private schools would be questionable.
“Public schools for the gifted must assume their responsibility to produce talent to serve the national interest. This means that the state invests in producing quality human resources for the country. Meanwhile, private schools do not take this commitment,” he explained.
He said schools for the gifted require huge costs to operate. Currently, these schools receive financial support from the state. Many students may not have the financial capacity to study in private schools.
“Schools for the gifted can only function well and fulfill their mission of producing talent when they are supported by the state budget. These schools not only need to have good teachers, but also to put in a lot of time and effort,” he said.
Meanwhile, private schools are “commercial” facilities and collect money from students to pay teachers.
According to Son, localities that want to develop private schools for the gifted must meet certain conditions. They must have enough excellent students and people must have good financial capacity to send their students to schools.
He said there is a need to differentiate schools for gifted and high quality schools.
“Big cities like Hanoi, HCMC and DaNang which have a large population and good economic conditions can develop private schools. It would be difficult for localities with limited financial resources to develop this school model,” he said.
“These localities can develop high-quality private schools instead of schools for the gifted,” he said.
Tran Thuy Duong, director of the Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted, said that it would be good to develop private high schools for the gifted, as many parents want their children to study in these schools in good conditions. However, the question of how to compete with public schools for the gifted needs to be answered.
“It’s not difficult to set up a school, but you have to know the parents’ thinking. Most of them want their children to study in public schools for the gifted,” she said.
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