Nguyen Ngoc Thuy, also known as Shark Thuy, chairman of Apax Holdings JSC, the owner of the APAX Leaders English language center chain, on Wednesday promised to refund prepaid tuition fees to parents but he did not give the specific time for the refunding.
Thuy on Wednesday afternoon met with parents in Ho Chi Minh City for the first time since the start of APAX Leaders’ employee salary debt and tuition fee scandal.
|Parents attend the meeting with leaders of APAX Leaders in Ho Chi Minh City on March 15, 2022. Photo: Trong Nhan / Tuoi Tre|
Thuy said he needed more time, claiming that refunding the tuition fees at a difficult time of APAX Leaders would put students at a disadvantage.
“We are giving the priority to the early reopening of English language centers. This is also the best way for APAX Leaders to fulfill its commitments to parents,” Thuy added.
APAX Leaders will determine the numbers of parents who will let their children continue learning at APAX Leaders centers and those who wish to withdraw tuition fees.
“It is hard to concurrently do the two jobs," Shark Thuy said.
“We need parents’ tolerance."
APAX Leaders CEO Nguyen Anh Tuan said APAX Leaders will resume the operation of 30-33 centers nationwide in the first phase, including four to five centers in Ho Chi Minh City.
At least nine other centers will be reopened later, Tuan claimed.
In late April, 10-12 centers will come back on stream as per the road map for the second phase.
An additional eight centers across the country will resume their opreations between late June and early July so that all APAX Leaders centers can be back active by the end of this year, Tuan noted.
He informed that APAX Leaders has identified over 1,350 students who have not completed the classes that they had paid for and the identification process is ongoing.
The chain receives parents’ information between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm every day at an APAX Leaders center on Phan Xich Long Street in Ho Chi Minh City.
“We are actively reviewing all English language center operation processes and regulations and ensuring human resources at the centers. However, the process may take about three to four months," Tuan said.
Earlier at the meeting, T., whose child used to study at an APAX Leaders center, said he has lost faith in APAX Leaders.
He already paid nearly VND100 million (US$4,224) in tuition fees but his child has not been arranged into any class for over half a year.
For the past three months, T. has contacted APAX Leaders many times but he has yet to be refunded.
Meanwhile, the studying schedule has been repeatedly delayed due to the center chain’s so-called restructuring.
“I just need the refunds,” T. underscored.
|Parents hold banners asking APAX Leaders to refund their tuition fees and calling on state agencies to step in. Photo: Trong Nhan / Tuoi Tre|
H., another parent, said, “Each family has their own circumstance. We have a simple order that our money be returned.”
Meanwhile, N., whose child used to study English at the Him Lam campus of the APAX Leaders chain, wanted to know the refund plan.
“We borrowed loans from banks to pay the tuition in advance, so we do not accept your vague answers. I need a specific time frame for the refunding,” said K., the father of a student.
Earlier, many parents had accused APAX Leaders of appropriating tuition fees as the chain accepted the tuition for long-term courses but failed to run classes.
Many former employees also accused the chain of owing them their salaries.
|Nguyen Ngoc Thuy, chairman of Apax Holdings JSC, the owner of the APAX Leaders English language center chain, at the meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on March 15, 2022. Photo: Trong Nhan / Tuoi Tre|
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