The growth rate of new schools in the country’s business hub Ho Chi Minh City has not matched the rise in population in recent years, according to Le Hong Son, head of the municipal Department of Education and Training.

The number of schools in HCM City has risen by 1.2-1.5 percent in the last 10 years, but the population has now reached 10 million.

Since 2010-2011 academic year, the number of schools in the city has increased by 564.

However, the city is still faced with a shortage of schools because of a lack of land and funds, even though the city has allocated 26 percent of its budget for education investment.

Binh Tan District, for example, will need to double its existing number of schools to a total of 121 by 2020 in order to have enough classrooms.

The district wants to reach its target of improving training quality by reducing the number of students in each classroom and having more classrooms with modern equipment.

The target to achieve universal education for children aged 5 also would be reached. The district now has three wards without public kindergartens.

Ta Tan, head of Tan Phu District's educational division, told Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper, that the shortage of schools had prevented the district from reaching modern training standards.

In the last 10 years, the number of students had increased by 1,000-2,000 each year, he said.

The district has outlined many projects to build schools, but most of them have been delayed because of slow site clearance and lack of money.

The outlying Hoc Mon District in the last 10 years has had 29 schools but its number of students has increased by 200 percent.

Because of a shortage of land in the city's inner districts of 1, 3, 5, 10 and Phu Nhuan, expansion of small schools cannot be done.-VNA