The extra fees even include allowance wages for teachers due to their low income. Schools assure parents that the fees will improve the quality of education. Almost an extra U.S. $100 to $200 a month is collect from each student in addition to his/her tuition.

Parents are even willing to pay extra allowance money to teachers to win their child more favor. For these students, they are placed in classrooms with the better-qualified teachers and that are well furnished. These “VIP classes” also have the latest gadgets such as computers, overhead projectors, and air conditioning. One parent in Hanoi would rather spend more money to send her child to the most well equipped and well educated class than to a normal classroom.

To catch up to such high demands, the Nam Trung Primary School in Hanoi has set up two “VIP classes,” where admittance for the academic year can cost almost $500. Alongside the entrance fee, parents have to pay several hundred more a month for tuition.

The quality of education provided by theses schools is argued to rival that of private schools.

However, several parents have argued that the extra fees have widened the rich-poor gap in schools. Students whose families cannot afford to pay extra have to stay in an non-aired-conditioned rooms with old equipment. One mother expressed sorrow when her child asked why she couldn’t study in one of the beautiful rooms. “I do not know what to say to make her understand without being hurt.”

By Sera Yoo - Open Equal Free - November 2, 2012