The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training plans to build modern libraries at 16 more high schools under a program that provides preferential loans.
Tran Dai Nghia High School for Gifted Students has built a modern library. Photo: giaoducthoidai.vn
Duong Tri Dung, head of the department’s Planning and Finance Division, said the People's Committee had assigned his department to make high schools more modern.
Under the investment promotion program, the education sector gets loans of up to VND100 billion (US$4.3 million) for projects for seven years at preferential interest rates.
The cost of setting up an advanced modern library is nearly VND15 billion ($646,200).
Schools should take the initiative to invest in their libraries to meet the requirements of a new national training program, Dung said.
The city will defray the interest on the loans.
The city currently has only one school, Tran Dai Nghia High School for Gifted Students in district 1, with such a library, which was set up just this academic year. The library has nearly 9,000 printed books and more than 10,900 electronic books.
It has a learning management system installed to help teachers set up digital lectures and virtual software.
Speaking at a recent conference on methods to strengthen the establishment of modern and advanced libraries in city schools, Nguyen Minh, principal of Tran Dai Nghia High School for Gifted Students, said many parents were reluctant when asked to contribute to building the library, but they did.
Students can go to the library or just access its materials electronically from their classroom.
For many years the city has been spending nearly VND3.4 trillion a year in building classrooms and nearly VND200 billion in buying teaching equipment.
But the money only meets the increasing need for facilities and classrooms since 40,000-60,000 students join schools each year.
So soliciting investment from other sources is needed to truly modernise schools.