Driving schools focus on guaranteed pass instead of skills in ​Ho Chi Minh City

Driving schools focus on guaranteed pass instead of skills in ​Ho Chi Minh City

A man practices his driving skills in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Many driving schools in Ho Chi Minh City are focusing on offering guaranteed passing of driving tests instead of providing important knowledge for their learners.

These centers often encourage learners to pay additional fees aside from tuition in return for guaranteed success in theory tests required for driver’s licenses.

Those agreeing to pay for the easy exams are now facing an inevitable consequence as they find themselves lacking the necessary skills and knowledge to drive an automobile in real life.

Nguyen Thanh Tung, who lives in Go Vap District, recalled paying VND4 million (US$176) for a driving course at a local training center.

Tung was also told to give the facility another VND1.5 million ($66) if he wanted to pass his theory test without having to actually study.

After agreeing to the request, Tung found himself doing literally nothing during the exam.

As the theory tests were computer-based, all of his answers were automatically completed, he said.

Similar, Bui Thi Hoa, an office worker in the southern metropolis, said she had picked a VND5.5 million ($242) training course to prepare for her driver’s license test.

The course included 32 hours of practice and four theory lessons, as well as a 100 percent guaranteed pass, Hoa said.

However, she was required to pay an additional VND2.9 million ($128) for examination fees and necessary documents.

If Hoa did not have time for the compulsory heath check-up, the center could also take care of that problem for just VND190,000 ($8).

After attaining her driver’s license, Hoa discovered that she did not have enough theoretical knowledge to drive an automobile.

She often broke traffic laws and could not properly perform basic moves such as backing up or making a U-turn.

Following repeated fines for her traffic violations, Hoa decided to study again by herself and ask a friend to help her practice driving.

Meanwhile, Phan Quoc Bao, a resident in Phu Nhuan District, said he had been scammed by a driving school based in Thu Duc District.

Bao was not given enough time for his practice, thus being unable to know how to drive at the end of the course.

Replying to his complaint, an employee of the school asserted that they had fulfilled their responsibilities during the training course and suggested that Bao pay for another course if he fails his driving test.

According to Tran Quoc Khanh, chief inspector of the municipal Department of Transport, the agency has received many reports regarding irregularities at local driving schools.

The transport department is expected to work with other competent agencies to carry out comprehensive inspections at these facilities.

If necessary, officers will also disguise as learners to detect violations, said Trinh Van Minh, deputy head of the office in charge of issuing driver’s licenses under the transport department.

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