Many Ho Chi Minh City private high schools are leaving no stone unturned to entice applicants, including distributing misleading leaflets, offering discounts on tuition, and even promising commission for referrals.
Among the most popular gimmicks employed by city private schools is displaying a deceptive image on fliers.
In these leaflets they usually present a spacious campus with impressive signs, modern equipment, sports grounds, swimming pools, and other facilities.
But a Tuoi Tre reporter, together with a parent, was disappointed when visiting one such school, where reality was a stark contrast to what had been advertised: a stuffy campus, small corridors, an absence of advanced facilities, and excuses from educators.
“What you saw in the flier is the second phase of a project to build our school,” an enrollment consultant explained. “There is not any cheating here as it is up to you to choose this school or not.”
What it seems is not really what it is, the parent complained, following the excuse from the consultant.
Tuoi Tre has learned that most private high schools in Go Vap District have announced attractive discounts ranging from five to twenty percent to tempt enrollees, as the new school year is due to begin in two months.
Ly Thai To, for instance, has said that applicants will enjoy a five percent markdown when they pay tuition for the whole semester, and a ten percent reduction will be offered if they settle the fee for the entire year at one time.
Another school, Dai Viet, pledged to take ten percent off the tuition of high-performing candidates, and offer another twenty percent cut for early enrollees, together with VND500,000 (US$23.8) to VND1 million ($47.6) monthly discounts for those applicants who perform well on their English admission tests.
A third school has claimed that it will present VND1 million in cash to the early birds of its summer classes, but many parents have found that the sum will be converted to textbooks, school bags, and uniforms instead.
One private high school even promised VND100,000 ($4.8) to VND400,000 ($19) in commission to those who recommend students to it.
In Vietnam private schools are considered a salvation for students who fail to get into public ones, which offer a higher-quality education.