The Ho Chi Minh City education department has finally suspended 40 out of 41 Apax Leaders centers in the city, according to an announcement made Wednesday.
Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training office head Ho Tan Minh said the 40 centers have already closed of their own accord, but the decision to officially suspend the facilities has still been publicly issued to prevent them from reopening without being reevaluated by authorities first.
“Apax Leaders needs to report any reopenings,” said Minh.
“The department will then inspect the conditions at every reopened center, and if criteria are met, they’ll be allowed to operate.”
Minh added that a list of all the officially suspended centers would soon be made available to parents.
The only currently operational Apax Leaders center is on Phan Xich Long Street of Phu Nhuan District. But even this location will be fined by the education department for failing to provide information on its teachers and students.
Hong Lien, from Thu Duc City, said she is still owed around VND30 million in tuition she paid to Apax Leaders, so she had planned to let her children return for more studies once their Apax reopened. However, now that she heard 40 centers have been suspended, she said she has lost all hope.
“Now I’m forced to demand refunds, or demand Apax to let my children study at another center with the equivalent education qualities that they promised,” she said.
Apax Leaders, an English education center network for children, was founded in 2016. It claims to have 120 centers across Vietnam with around 120,000 students. The company claims some 15,000 of those students are in Ho Chi Minh City.
But in September 2022, the company was accused by several parents of providing subpar services. Large groups of disgruntled customers have been demanding tuition refunds ever since.
Several meetings between Ho Chi Minh City parents and Nguyen Ngoc Thuy, the company’s chairman, as well as Nguyen Anh Tuan, Apax general director, were held in March and April. On April 9, Apax Leaders drew up a roadmap for tuition refunds for parents who no longer want their children to study at the centers.
Tuitions are expected to be refunded between June this year and April next year, according to the roadmap. But several parents are still dissatisfied with the plan.
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