Lack of summer clubs for children has forced Hanoian parents to queue up for long hours to register their children for summer courses at centres.

Pham Huy Quang, of Ba Dinh district, said "I finally got a ticket for my daughter to learn swimming in the October 10 Sports Centre after a long queue."

The centre has been known as a trustworthy address to teach children how to swim, he said.

Unlike Huy, other parents left the centre empty handed because there were no tickets left.

The centre has just one swimming pool which is only enough for 1,200 children but the numbers of children want to learn swimming is 10 times higher than that, according to an official from the centre.

The same situation has also occurred in the Hanoi Children's Cultural Palace .

At this time, drawing or life-skill courses, which are supposed to be favourite ones, are full, although the enrolment time is scheduled to be continued during this summer.

To meet children's demand, some primary schools have opened summer clubs, said Ngu Duy Anh, Director of the Students' Affairs Department under the Ministry of Education and Training

The clubs were encouraged by both parents and schools who wanted to create a healthy and interesting playground for children during summer holidays, he said.

A 2011 summer club at Hoan Kiem district's Quang Trung Primary School was opened to welcome their pupils.

Ninh Duy Tuan, a gym teacher of the school said pupils mainly registered to learn football, basketball, dance, rhythmic gymnastics and swimming.

However, most of schools city-wide have faced a lack of gym teachers, swimming pool or playgrounds, said Ngu Duy Anh, the department director.

There were very few schools in the city that met standards for swimming pools, playgrounds and well-trained gym teachers to open summer clubs as expected, he said.

"Schools are advised to hire swimming pools to teach their pupils how to swim, but they must ensure absolute safety for the pupils", he said.

"To solve the problem, we really need co-operation among sectors, localities and society. The education sector cannot solve it alone", he said.

In addition, parents should carefully consider how to creatively balance study and relaxation for their children in the summer to avoid following the crowd, he added.

Local authorities were also advised to create space for children to play and participate in activities to help them enjoy their summer holidays, he said.

Now international organisations have been co-operating with the education sector to launch pilot programmes to teach swimming to both teachers and pupils in 10 primary schools in central Da Nang City , he said.

The Government has approved the development of sports project by 2020 including universalised swimming in kindergarten and secondary schools nation-wide, especially, in the Cuu Long ( Mekong ) Delta and central coastal provinces. /.