New decree ups punishment for school violence

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A Prime Ministerial decree has for the first time set fines for violence in schools as well as other violations of the law in the education sector.


Decree 40/2011 signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on June 8, modifies Decree 49/2005 that handles violations in the education sector. The new decree takes effect in August.


The new decree adds fines of between VND1 million (US$48.7) and VND5 million ($243.5) for physically or mentally insulting teachers and students.


Fines for many other violations have been increased while additional measures like compensation and dismissal have been more clearly defined.


The highest fine against unlicensed schools, including kindergartens, primary schools and secondary and high schools, has been doubled from the current VND10 million ($487).


Fines against unlicensed vocational schools, foreign-language centers and informatics technology centers go up from between VND10 million and VND20 million to VND20 million and VND30 million.


For violations found in the recruitment of Vietnamese students to study abroad or in institutions that are foreign-invested or employ foreign teachers, the fines have been maintained at between VND5 million and VND60 million.


The new decree responds to the increasing incidence of violence in schools between teachers and students and among the students themselves. Clips of schoolgirls beating up each other have been recorded on cell phones and posted on the Internet.


According to preliminary reports from educational departments nationwide, there were 1,598 cases of students fighting both inside and outside schools in the 2009-2010 academic year. A total of 2,439 students have been censured and 75 others dismissed.


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