Le Kim Dung, deputy head of the ministry's Department of Legal Affairs said this was the first time the ministry had set specific regulations related to tax collection, duration of classes, required equipment and the maximum number of students who could attend tutoring classes.
She said the draft aimed to put the operation of tutoring classes under stricter management and ensure the quality of teaching and studies.
Under the draft circular, organisers of tutoring classes that charge a tuition fee are only allowed to charge students for tuition, nothing else. Fees must be agreed to by organisers and the students or their parents. Organisers and teachers are subject to the income tax law and current financial management regulations.
In terms of class time, tutoring classes for primary students may only be a maximum of 210 minutes per week, while secondary and high-school students may attend 405 minutes of extra classes per week. Each class may accommodate a maximum of 35 students at the primary level and 45 at higher levels.
Dang Thanh Ha, head of a tutoring centre on Le Thanh Nghi Street said many tutoring centres were operating illegally to cheat students and stricter regulations were necessary to curb the practice.
Ha said she would be willing to pay the tax if the ministry had effective methods to monitor the exact number of tutoring classes other centres offered, how many students they had and ensured they paid the proper tax rate as regulated by the law.
Luong Xuan Duong has a twelfth-grader at Hanoi's Chu Van An High School who told him that many tutors and unregistered centres operated in private houses and he wondered whether the ministry had the capacity to check class size and duration at every one.
He said his son attended mathematics, chemistry and physics tutoring classes on Thai Thinh Street with more than 100 other students. Each class lasted four hours per week.
"This overcrowding of tutoring classes is common when students want to be tutored by good teachers."
Duong added that he spent VND3million (USD143) per month in tutoring fees for his son but didn't know how beneficial the classes actually were.
Nguyen Kim Thanh, a teacher at Hanoi's Phan Huy Chu High School said students were usually crammed into small classrooms at tutoring centres.
She said if this circular were to take effect and ministry inspectors took responsibility for regular inspections, it would be a good thing.
The first circular relating to the operation of tutoring classes was published in 2007.