Lifestyle & Belief

Pay-to-play deluxe wings in Vietnam's public schools


A student holds a flag during a ceremony marking the new school year at a local elementary school in downtown Hanoi on September 5, 2012.



In America, if you're seeking a public school classroom with vastly superior teachers and technology, you'll probably need to move to a district with a much-higher tax base.

In Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, parents willing to shell out a few hunded bucks can seat their kids in public school classes with perks such as better-qualified instructors, flashy computer projectors and air conditioning.

As the outlet Thanh Nien reports, Hanoi moms and dads with extra cash are privy to deluxe classrooms set up alongside classes for kids from not-so-rich families.

And according to VietnamBridge, these classes can rival private schools' quality.

The difference? Government employees are collecting the cash, which can reportedly add up to roughly $100 to $200 per month for one student.

Perhaps this is inevitable in public schools that already charge parents. In Vietnam, as of much of Southeast Asia, tax-funded public schools aren't necessarily free.

Parents are often asked to pay for uniforms, tuition and meals. And as the newspaper Tuoi Tre reports, even parents sending kids to non-VIP classes are squeezed for extra fees attributed to the cost of watering campus trees and hiring crossing guards.