“In my own experience, the traffic in recent days was clearer. If the change of working hour is ineffective, the Ministry of Transport is willing to assume responsibility,” said Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Manh Hung at the monthly cabinet press conference on February 6.
Primary students wait for their parents after school finish.
The official said that in the last week, many roads in Hanoi did not have traffic jams in the morning. There were still gridlocks in the afternoon but they were not as serious before working hour were amended.
The Deputy Minister said that this method had shown initial results. However, one week of implementation was not long enough to assess this method’s effects. The Ministry of Transport will discuss with Hanoi authorities to amend new working hour plan to deal with the people’s complaints.
“All measures to curb congestion make disorder, only at different levels. If the working hour changing measure does not work, the Ministry of Transport is willing to bear responsibility,” Hung said.
Hung’s remark of the traffic situation is similar to the Hanoi Department of Transport: After the measure is carried out, many roads in the capital city have been clearer, but new spots of congestion have appeared in front of some primary and junior secondary schools.
Most complaints come from schools. Mai Sy Nhat, head of the Hanoi Department of Education and Training’s Student Affairs Bureau, said that the department made surveys and found out the following matters.
Firstly, at primary schools and kindergartens, working hour of teachers increases because they have to take care of students before and after school finish.
Secondly, the interval between two shifts at junior secondary schools is only 15 minutes, resulted in many problems for students.
At high schools, it is too late for students to leave school at 7pm. Schools have to pay more fees for light, doorkeepers, etc. Moreover, physical training activities cannot be held due to short of light.
“It is said that students can take a bath and go to bed after school and do exercise in the next morning, but coming home late already makes impacts on their psychophysiology,” Nhat said.
From February 1, high schools and universities open before 7am and close after 7pm. Primary, secondary schools and kindergartens start working from 8am and close at 5pm.
Government agencies begin working at 8pm and close at 5pm. Service and trade centers (except for banking and financial services) open from 9am and close after 7pm. Factories that work in shifts and the army, etc. do not change working time.
He added that in suburban districts like Tu Liem and Thanh Tri, students have to come home on pitch-dark roads, which is very dangerous. Teachers are also influenced by the change. Many teachers who have babies complained that no kindergartens open until 7pm.
Representatives from high schools and universities in Hanoi have proposed to finish school at 6pm, instead of 7pm.
The change is applied in 12 districts.
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