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Delta seeks to stop dropouts

DONG THAP — Everyone has a part to play to keep students from dropping out in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta this school year, speakers said at a meeting in Dong Thap Province last Friday.

Students study maths at Thoai Giang Primary School in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang's Thoai Son District. The drop-out rate in the Mekong Delta region has fallen compared to previous years, but remains high. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu.

The dropout rate has reduced compared to previous years, but is still high, so a combined effort will be needed, according to speakers at the meeting.

The dropout rate at primary schools in the Delta at the beginning of this school year is 0.34 per cent; junior high schools, 2.28 per cent; and senior high schools, 3.58 per cent.

Soc Trang, An Giang, Dong Thap, Bac Lieu and Long An provinces have the highest dropout rate at junior and senior high schools in the Delta.

Soc Trang Province has the highest dropout rate at senior high schools with 9.35 per cent, followed by Kien Giang with 5.6 per cent, Long An and Dong Thap, more than 3 per cent.

Pham Vu Luan, Minister of Education and Training, said there were two reasons why many students in the Delta gave up their studies – one, they have poor study results and can not keep up with the school curriculum, and two their families are poor and they have to quit school to work.

The departments of Education and Training in the Delta's provinces must strengthen co-operation with local authorities and other sectors to encourage students to come to school, Luan said.

So far the departments of Education and Training in several provinces have worked to help weak students to improve their study results, improve teaching conditions, and mobilise money from sectors to help students from poor families.

An Giang Province for instance provides extra remedial classes and has a programme that pairs strong students with weaker ones in class.

The An Giang Province Department of Education and Training said students had responded well and the dropout rate had reduced.

Nguyen Van Binh, director of the An Giang Province Department of Education and Training, said: "We think encouraging a good student to help a weaker student is very effective because they are friends and are not shy with each other when learning with each other."

In Hau Giang Province, the Department of Education and Training has launched a programme in which each official, staff and teacher in the department donate VND10,000-100,000 a month to support students.

The department has raised about VND200 million a month for poor students.

Bui Van Dung, director of the Hau Giang Province Department of Education and Training, said with this money many students who are at risk of quitting school are able to continue their study.

Since the beginning of this school year, the Hau Giang Province Party Committee has also ordered all departments, sectors and organisations to support one school each.

About 300 out of 400 schools in Hau Giang have now got outside financial support, adding up to a huge VND5 billion (US$260,000) to help students from poor families go to school.

In Soc Trang Province, the provincial Department of Education and Training is raising money to build charity houses for students from poor families.

Vinh Long Province has also encouraged contributions from teachers to provide free lunches for poor students who travel long distances to school.

From VietNamNews

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