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School run services in Vietnam collect A-grade profits
Publication Date : 10-10-2013
The new school year started several weeks ago, and a pick-up and drop-off service has been flourishing in the capital to meet the demands of busy parents.
Le Quang Chien, 47, a resident in Cau Giay District, is among many customers who rely on motorbike taxi companies to take his 8th grade daughter to and from school everyday.
"I used to take my daughter to school each day, but when my company moved to Bac Ninh Province, which is 40 kilometres from Ha Noi, I had to find someone else to take her," Chien said, adding that his wife who works as an accountant was also too busy to do the school run.
Having employed the Xe Om Than Thien (Friendly Motorbike Taxi) Company for over seven months, he feels secure that his daughter is safe in the hands of the driver, who is a female student.
He pays the company 1 million dong (US$48) per month for his daughter's two kilometre journey from home to school everyday.
"It's quite reasonable," Chien said.
He also added that most of his relatives and acquaintances thought that using the service was much safer than hiring a motorbike taxi driver who was not employed by a company to drive their kids to school.
The companies that provide the service ensure the safety and comfort of the children in their care.
"We have an excellent pick-up and drop-off service. We can pick-up or drop-off your child at the time you tell us, which saves out customers' time," said Pham Van Hiep, director of the Xe Om Than Thien Company.
However, not all of customers are totally convinced.
Quynh Giao, who is a doctor at a hospital in Ha Noi, is an example. Giao said her busy working schedule prevented her from taking her 12-year-old daughter to school, so she had to use the pick-up service.
Even though she is satisfied with the driver's punctuality, she still thinks the service has its disadvantages. One of them is that drivers sometimes spontaneously ask someone else to pick up Giao's daughter without her permission.
"My driver is sometimes busy with personal matters, but she should notify me in advance to ask if it's okay for someone else to pick up my child, because I feel uncomfortable if it is a stranger," she said.
The service had its advantages and disadvantages, so parents were advised to research the different companies to find a reliable one to trust with their children, who were the "future of the country", according to Tran Xuan Nhi, former Deputy Minister of Education and Training.