Schools close due to cold weather in northern provinces
Updated : 01/08/2013 12:31 GMT + 7
Many schools in Hanoi and several northern provinces have had to give their students days off for health reasons, as cold weather has blanketed the region for several days.
Under prevailing regulations, schools must shut down if the temperature drops to less than 10 degrees Celsius, said Pham Xuan Tien, head of the Primary Education Office under the Hanoi Department of Education and Training.
Therefore many schools have closed, even though students are scheduled to take exams for the first semester, Tien said.
Nguyen Thanh Hien, chief of the Secretariat of the Cao Bang Province Department of Education and Training, said the agency has asked schools not to hold classes temperatures have dropped below 10 degrees Celsius in many towns in the province.
In many remote communes the temperatures have even fallen to 5-6 degrees, Hien said.
A similar situation can be found in Lao Cai Province, where schools have been allowed to decide whether or not to close depending on actual weather conditions.
Nguyen Van Dong, chief of the Secretariat of the Lao Cai Province Department of Education and Training, said many schools in mountainous areas may shut down during the winter if the temperature remains under 10 degrees.
Adults and children building a fire to warm themselves on Nguyen Huu Huan Street in Hanoi. (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
Fireplaces in classrooms
Authorities in many provinces are mobilizing support for schools to consolidate classrooms to cope with the effects of the cold.
They are also calling for donations of sweaters to student in areas facing extreme cold.
Many schools in Sa Pa, in Lao Cai, have warmed their students by lighting fires in classrooms, and many parents have provided firewood to the schools.
Schools are required to consolidate their cold weahter materials, make proper adjustments to diets and drinking water, and halt all outdoors activities.
Tuyet Dung, the principal of Linh Dam Preschool, said she has asked the school’s kitchen to change its meals and provide classrooms with more blankets and carpets.
“Schools must inform parents in a timely fashion about their decision to shut down so that students do not have to leave home in the dangerous cold,” said Nguyen Hiep Thong, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Education and Training.
A buffalo suffering from the freezing weather in O Quy Ho, Sa Pa with tree branches covered in snow.
A family stops by the roadside for lunch while they are on the way to seek shelter for their buffalos.
An H-Mong girl in Lung Phinh, Dong Van in Ha Giang northern province uses corn leaves - a popular food for cattle - to warm herself.