Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA)
- Hanoi’s schools are getting more crowded this year, with experts predicting some classrooms could have up to 70 pupils.

Pham Van Dai, deputy head of the city’s Department of Education and Training told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, the number of primary school students was expected to increase by 30,000 compared to those leaving for secondary schools.

If the city’s authority fails to build more classrooms or new schools, the overloading of classrooms would increase, he said.

Last year, the department reported there were more than 1.9 million of students in 2,600 schools in the city, an increase of 134,000 students compared to the academic year of 2017-2018.

Of that, primary schools recorded the highest rise of roughly 13,000 students, an increase of 30,000 students compared to the previous academic year.

As a result, many primary schools had to increase the number of students to 60 per class while the ministry’s regulations on standard number was 35.

Figures from the department showed Thanh Xuan, Cau Giay and Ha Dong are the top three districts with the most crowded classrooms in the city, pushing the number of students to between 52 and 60 per class.

Pham Thi Le Hang, head of Ha Dong district’s Department of Education and Training, said Ha Dong had the rapid urbanisation and a rising population in recent years.

The district was expected to have more than 6,000 students in all grades this year compared to the previous 12 months.

Although the district had managed to build three new schools, the overloading would not be eased in this year.

Dam Thuc Hanh, head of Hoang Mai district’s Department of Education and Training, said Hoang Mai was an overloading hotspot last year, especially in Hoang Liet ward where 76 out of 82 apartment buildings were built and put into use, leading to a high rise of population.

Chu Van An Primary School in Hoang Mai district was the most crowded in the city. The school received about 1,500 students in the last academic year while its capacity was only 960 students.

The sudden increase in the number of first graders put pressure on the school’s facilities. Students had to study four days per week instead of five days as in other schools and had to study alternatively on Saturdays.

Nguyen Minh Thu, a parent of a six-year-old girl, said she struggled for a seat at a private school in Hoang Mai district as she was very worried about the quality of overloading classrooms at primary school.

“How can a teacher handle up to 70 students per class? How can students study in such crowded class?” she said.

Nguyen Viet Can, head of the Department of Education and Training’s Planning and Finance Office, said it was necessary to have long-term solutions on planning the network of schools in the city.

This year, Hanoi would invest to build and renovate more than 100 schools in 12 districts. The city would re-examine and renovate existing facilities into classrooms at overcrowded schools.

Toan said the department has asked the local health sector to support the People's Committees of districts to rearrange enrolment plans to reduce the overloading at crowded schools.

Nguyen Thi Bich Ngọc, Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Council, said the city has asked relevant sectors to clarify the number of schools needed by 2020 and the areas that needed more schools, so the city would have solutions for the issue.-VNS/VNA