A commune in the central province of Nghe An has to leave 600 preschool-age children to stay at home as its only kindergarten is overcrowded.

The kindergarten in Quynh Loc Commune is catering for 500 children, and another 200 are being schooled at the local communal house and an old storage building, said Le Duy Trung, chairman of the commune, more than four hours south of Hanoi.

The storage building is heavily damaged and chunks of plaster regularly drop from the ceiling.

The rising population and a limited budget are to blame for the problem, Trung said.

“We have asked authorities for VND16 billion ($702,400) to build a new kindergarten, but we are still awaiting approval,” he added.

Despite its low budget, the commune has recently spent VND6 billion to restore a two-kilometer road, a project many locals did not approve of.

“This road was still in a good condition. The money should have been spent on the kindergarten,” said a local resident.

But Trung said renovating the road was one of the tasks required for his commune to be classed as a "new rural area."

The “new rural area” is label given under a govenrment program aimed at lifting the material and spiritual living standards of people in rural Vietnam and developing social-economic infrastructure.

Communes need to check off 11 criteria to be labeled “new rural,” including traffic infrastructure and educational facilities.

By Nguyen Hai & Cuong Ho - VnExpress.net - April 2, 2018