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Hardship can’t stop ethnic minority students from studying in mountainous regions of Vietnam

Hardship can’t stop ethnic minority students from studying in mountainous regions of Vietnam

Thursday, April 16, 2020, 09:54 GMT+7
Hardship can’t stop ethnic minority students from studying in mountainous regions of Vietnam
Ly Gio Nu, a 12th grader, is seen studying in her house in Muong Te District, Lai Chau Province, Vietnam.

A series of photos have gone viral recently as they capture Vietnamese ethnic minority students in a nothern mountainous region bending every effort to studying remotely in the face of hardship.

The photos surfaced as many schools across Vietnam have moved their classes online amid a months-long school closure owing to the novel coronavirus disease (COVD-19) pandemic.

“In remote areas, students face countless difficulties with online classes because of the lack of hi-tech equipment, slow Internet connection, unstable mobile signals, and more,” the Vietnam Northern Upland High School’s Youth Union in the northern mountainous province of Thai Nguyen wrote in the introduction to the photos capturing their students.

“However, thanks to their passion for studying and determination to overcome hardship, the students defeated all the difficulties to pursue their classes,” it added.

“They build tents on hilltops to take advantage of the high altitude for cellular signals, live alone at a place 30 kilometers away from home so they could have Internet access, or take time to study during break time on farming days with their parents.”

According to Tran Thi Thanh Hue, secretary of the school’s youth union, most of the school’s students are members of ethnic minority groups.

As they live in very remote areas, it is hard for them to follow classes online.

Hue added that the school had still not been able to contact some students to tell them about the online classes because cellphone signals are not available where they live.

“During our school break for COVID-19 prevention, our teachers have stayed in touch with students to give them encouragement as many have considered dropping out of school because of their underprivilege circumstances,” Hue said.

Meanwhile, principal Luc Thuy Hang informed that the school has only been able to make sure that half of its students have access to online classes, because the students live very far from school and have to help their parents with farming during the closure.

To help their underprivilege students, teachers have sponsored mobile top-up scratch cards so they could access the Internet on mobile data for lessons.

“Our students are very eager for studying,” Hang said.

“What we are concerned about is that if the break drags on for too long, it will make them want to give up on studying, or difficult circumstances will push them to drop out of school.

“We have to keep talking to them to boost their morale, and fortunately, there has been no student quitting so far.”

Below are photos of students at the Vietnam Northern Upland High School, taken by their relatives and sent to school teachers as “proof” of their studying.

11th grader Hoang Thi My, a member of the Mong ethnic minority group in Bao Lam District, Cao Bang Province, Vietnam, is seen studying during a break from her work on a family farm.

11th grader Hoang Thi My, a member of the Mong ethnic minority group in Bao Lam District, Cao Bang Province, Vietnam, is seen studying during a break from her work on a family farm.

Vang Thi Xa, a member of the Mong ethnic minority group in Si Ma Cai District, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, is seen studying during a break from her work on a family farm.

Vang Thi Xa, a member of the Mong ethnic minority group in Si Ma Cai District, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, is seen studying during a break from her work on a family farm.

Vang Thi Xa, a member of the Mong ethnic minority group in Si Ma Cai District, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, works on a family farm as part of her daily routine during the COVID-19 school closure.

Vang Thi Xa, a member of the Mong ethnic minority group in Si Ma Cai District, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, works on a family farm as part of her daily routine during the COVID-19 school closure.

12th grader Sung A Si studies after climbing up a hill next to his house to catch cellular signals.

12th grader Sung A Si studies after climbing up a hill next to his house to catch cellular signals.

As Internet connection is unstable in his house, 10th grader Quang The Ha builds a makeshift tent on top of a hill which is a ten-minute walk from home to join online classes.

As Internet connection is unstable in his house, 10th grader Quang The Ha builds a makeshift tent on top of a hill which is a ten-minute walk from home to join online classes.

A corner of 12th grader Ly Gio Nu’s house is reserved as her studying corner in Muong Te District, Lai Chau Province, Vietnam.

A corner of 12th grader Ly Gio Nu’s house is reserved as her studying corner in Muong Te District, Lai Chau Province, Vietnam.

A corner of 12th grader Ly Gio Nu’s house in Muong Te District, Lai Chau Province, Vietnam.

A corner of 12th grader Ly Gio Nu’s house in Muong Te District, Lai Chau Province, Vietnam

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