JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Elementary school in Vietnam named after Japanese benefactor

Saturday, May 04, 2019, 16:59 GMT+7
Elementary school in Vietnam named after Japanese benefactor
An overview of Junko Primary School in Quang Nam, central Vietnam. Photo: Doan Cuong / Tuoi Tre

A primary school in the central Vietnam province of Quang Nam was named after a Japanese woman as gratitude for her dream to helping poor children pursue an education.

Tran Cong Truong, the former head master of Junko Elementary School, may be retired, but the memories he’s built over his 20 year career at the school are more than enough to keep him busy.

The school, which opened in the autumn of 1995, changed to “Junko” in 2003 to commemorate Junko Takahashi, a warm-hearted Japanese woman whose dream of helping impoverished children pursue an education has served as inspiration for the entire province.

The story began in 1993 when, Junko, a then-third-year student of Meiji Gakuin University in Japan, visited Vietnam with a friend to enjoy the country’s landscape, learn its culture, and research Japanese investment in the Southeast Asian country.

The two young women were impressed by the beauty of Vietnam and the hospitality of its people after spending a month traveling through the Vietnamese metropolises of Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City.

After becoming aware of the lack of educational opportunities for children in low-income Vietnamese families, Junko returned to her hometown in Japan to develop a plan to help poor children get the education they deserved.

“I want to fully support Vietnamese children to grow up healthy and have a chance to pursue their path of study for their own future ahead,” Junko expressed in the thesis she wrote after her trip to Vietnam.

Unfortunately, Junko passed away in an accident later that year at the age of 21, leaving her desires incomplete.

After Junko’s sudden death, her parents decided to pursue her dream of building a school in Vietnam and contacted Professor Ebashi Masahiko, Junko’s research instructor, for help.

Professor Ebashi Masahiko then teamed up with Vietnamese Professor Tran Van Tho, a friend of his who was teaching in Waseda University in Tokyo, to form a network of administrators in Vietnam who could help Junko’s parents. 

In the end, everyone agreed to build a primary school in a poor village in Quang Nam, near Da Nang.

Students do exercise in Junko Primary School in Quang Nam, central Vietnam. Photo: Doan Cuong / Tuoi Tre
Students do exercise in Junko Primary School in Quang Nam, central Vietnam. Photo: Doan Cuong / Tuoi Tre

The two-story school with eight classrooms, a stadium, and other educational facilities was built with the budget of US$100,000, using the life insurance compensation of Junko’s death and savings the family had accrued for her future wedding.

Junko’s photo has been kept in the school tradition office until today to remind students of her devotion to their education.

Le Quoc Ha, the current head teacher of Junko Elementary School, expressed his gratitude towards Junko and the Junko Youth Volunteer Group, an organization established by Japanese teachers and students to help Vietnamese children, for financially supporting them to complete the school’s infrastructure as well as awarding gifts for students twice a year.

“Junko is gone forever, but she’s left behind a miracle for Vietnamese children in this poor village,” he said.

The Junko Youth Volunteer Group also cooperates with Da Nang University to organize exchange courses for Japanese and Vietnamese students to approach and get to know one another’s culture.

Moreover, the group awarded one-year scholarships to study at Meiji Gakuin University in Japan for ten former students from Junko Primary School who are admitted to Da Nang University top highest entrance scores.

A photo of Junko Takahashi in the tradition office of Junko Primary School in Quang Nam, central Vietnam. Photo: Doan Cuong / Tuoi Tre
A photo of Junko Takahashi in the tradition office of Junko Primary School in Quang Nam, central Vietnam. Photo: Doan Cuong / Tuoi Tre

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Tuoi Tre News

More

Read more

A look inside male brothels

The service of male prostitutes, which is illegal in Vietnam, has increased with the rise of brothels and recent cases of arrests in Ho Chi Minh City

6 years ago

Vietnam ladies’ dens for foreigners in the city

It’s a new disguised ‘variant’ of prostitution in Ho Chi Minh City, in which foreign males enter restaurants to meet and select girls to end their night at private homes or a rented house

6 years ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news