HCM City’s education sector has set a target next year to collect school tuition via bank transfers instead of cash after two years of piloting the project at 40 schools. (Photo: chinhphu.vn)

HCM City (VNA)
- HCM City’s education sector has set a target next year to collect school tuition via bank transfers instead of cash after two years of piloting the project at 40 schools. 

Under the pilot project, students from 40 secondary schools and high schools began paying tuition via a school smart card (SSC) in the academic year 2014-15.

The project has been carried out by the city’s Department of Education and Training in co-operation with the State Bank of Vietnam’s HCM City branch, Vietcombank, BIDV, and Ngoi Nha Xanh Cultural Joint-Stock Company.

Speaking at a meeting on financial solutions in the education sector last week, Le Hoai Nam, deputy director of the education department, said the pilot project had achieved positive results after two years of implementation.

The city now wants to expand the model to all schools citywide.

Under the project, more than 47,000 SSCs have been issued with total tuition transactions via SSC reaching 132 billion VND (5.8 million USD), he said.

Payments through SSCs help parents pay tuition on time, reduce the risk of students holding a large amount of cash, and ease the burden on schools’ human resources and time in collecting tuition, he added.

The Education Department plans to improve dissemination of information about the project to teachers, students and parents.

More financial solutions for teachers and education staff will also be offered.

For example, the education sector will work with commercial banks to issue credit cards with favourable conditions for teachers, with a balance of 200-300 million VND (8,789-13,184 USD).

Speaking at the meeting, Bui Quang Tien, head of the Transaction Department under the State Bank, spoke highly of financial solutions carried out by the city’s education sector, especially the application of SSC.

He urged the sector to work closely with agencies to ensure security and safety for cardholders.

Students as cardholders will have their names and identification numbers on the card.

Parents will be account holders and will open cards for their children by filling in a form from the SSC project.

SSC’s information centre will announce the payable amount to parents, and they can either pay via e-banking services or make payments at home, banks or schools.

The amount will be transferred to school accounts, and information will be sent to the SSC data center to be processed and confirmed.

Parents can also give pocket money to their children via SSC. The card is exclusively used to pay at POS terminals at specified locations at schools only, and is not used to withdraw cash.

Details about payments listed in an SSC account will help parents manage their children’s spending.

In the near future, the SSC project will develop new features supporting learning, such as e-textbooks, studying languages online, and daily services such as bus cards and library cards, according to Nam.-VNA