Vietnam preschools continue to offer English classes despite government ban

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A number of preschools in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City continue to offer English classes despite a ban by the Ministry of Education and Training three months ago.


The ministry had ordered kindergartens across the country to stop offering English programs in any form, including extra-curricular programs, following a Thanh Nien exposé about the surfeit of such classes.


But Thanh Nien has found that a number of preschools in large cities are ignoring the ban.


In Hanoi, 20.10 Kindergarten has made English lessons compulsory for students in “high-quality” classes and optional for normal classes, and charges VND450,000 (US$21.4) per month.


Another public preschool, Ly Thuong Kiet Kindergarten, is offering optional English classes twice a week at VND160,000 a month.


Private preschools are also advertising bilingual programs.


The same thing is happening in HCMC.


The parent of a preschool student in District 7 told Thanh Nien the school has posted an announcement by its partner POLY, a South Korean education company which opened a local office in 2010, urging parents to sign their children up for English classes in the new term.


Parents of some preschool students in districts 3 and 5 said they still pay VND170,000 a month for English classes because they have not heard about the ban.


Some preschools are cooperating with other education companies to offer English programs for students.


Education officials in HCMC told Thanh Nien they have not received instructions from the city's education department about the suspension of English programs in kindergartens.


Many pre-schools in Hanoi and HCMC advertise themselves as “international” because they teach English though they are otherwise poorly equipped.


Some experts warn that the poor teaching of English in kindergartens could cause long-term harm to children. 

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