A high dropout rate continues to trouble Mekong Delta educators with each province suffering several thousands of young people giving up their education.
In early 2009-2010 school year, Tien Giang province reported that 4,500 students did not continue schooling. Only 48 primary school kids dropped out, while the number was higher for secondary and high schools: 2,200 each.
According to the Tien Giang Education and Training Department, the higher the education the higher the number of drop outs. At high schools, five students gave up school for every 100 students.
In Hau Giang province, 2,300 students did not return to school after three months of summer holiday, including 620 high school students.
Giving up school because of problems with learning
NPK, a student of
Thousands of students in Mekong Delta have dropped out because of struggles with schoolwork have left them ashamed. They think that they cannot catch up with friends and have tired of school.
Le Van Nhut, director of the Kien Giang Education and Training Department, says that while in the past pupils have moved up classes because teachers “did them a favor” – they have eventually found themselves out of their depth.
In many cases, students drop out because of financial difficulties facing their families, or because of problems with the “school run”. In Ca Mau province, for example, where there are a lot of canals and rivers, students have to take boats just to get to school.
In Bac Lieu province, local authorities counted 135 drops out in the first month after the school year began. The figure has now jumped to 2,00o. In Ben Tre province, 1,672 students have given up school so far. An Giang has reported that 9,200 students have dropped out.
Offering award to students who return to school
Local education departments said that they have been doing everything they can to reduce the number of drop out.
In Hau Giang province, in order to slow the rate – local schools have been trying to put the emphasis on friendlier schools. Local authorities have been giving support to poor students to help them keep studying. It is easier to persuade students to go to school when helping them pay for meals, clothes and textbooks
In Hau Giang province, local authorities allow the offer of a gift of 200,000 dong to every poor student who dropped out and now returns to school. This has helped reduce the percentage of drops out from 2.1 percent in the first month of the school year to 1.7 percent now.
Meanwhile, director of Ca Mau Education and Training Department Thai Van Long said local authorities have donated towards boat fees to students which have helped bring 550 students back to school.
However, according to the Ministry of Education and Training, measures taken by local authorities have only helped reduce the number of drops out by 0.49 percent.