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Vietnam schools provide life skills for minority children through farming

Vietnam schools provide life skills for minority children through farming

Thursday, June 25, 2015, 17:35 GMT+7

A number of schools in northern Vietnam have recently brought farming into their teaching with the aim of supplying life skills to students from ethnic minority groups.

Since the academic year of 2014-15, the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai has implemented a project in which schools apply the “School – Farm” model, combining schooling with farming based on each school’s conditions and its students’ age and living circumstances.

In Vietnam, an academic year usually starts in late August or early September, and ends in late May or early June the following year.

“Students are not only asked to do tasks at their boarding house like before, but also guided to do farmers’ jobs like professionals,” Cao Xuan Lam, principal of Si Ma Cai High School No. 2, said.

The local schools which have joined the project set aside land to build farms where students are taught about work associated with their daily life, including raising chickens, pigs, rabbits, pigeons and goats and planting vegetables and mushrooms.

The project is designed to connect what the students learn in class to reality, as well as to improve the quality of students’ meals through the products they grow and plant.

It has seen several achievements since the beginning, such as students at Bao Thang High School No. 3 successfully planting oyster mushrooms at their school through the application of their knowledge of chemistry, mathematics, biology, geography and physics.

Their products even went to a national contest.

The school leaders said the students have also used their knowledge from the subjects they learn to grow fruit trees like grapefruit, jackfruit, dragon fruit and sapodilla.

Also, the Tan Tien day-boarding school for ethnic minority students in Bao Yen District helps its students raise pigs after class.

“Mong ethnic minority students are taught techniques to take care of their pigs after class,” Luc Tien Vinh, the school principal, said.

The school teachers also taught their students to grow vegetables to feed the pigs, as well as how to clean the animals’ cages.

Farming could be fun

After a launch period, the “School – Farm” model has not only helped equip kids with life skills, but also inspired them to study, as well as given them joy after class.

“We are very excited about farming at school,” Hoang Van Trung, a student from Ban Sen Elementary School, said. “The teachers teach us to do jobs that our parents usually do at home.”

Other students at the school also said that they are glad and enjoy raising pigeons on the school’s farm.

“I like staying at school after class,” Vang Thi Sua, a student at the Tan Tien school, shared. “Instead of making naughty jokes, we learn about breeding.”

“I can help my parents at home,” she added.

Meanwhile, students from Bao Yen District’s Kim Son Commune Middle School prefer focusing on their vegetable garden.

Every day, they busily water and take care of the plants which will provide fresh green for their daily meals.

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