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Never too late: Vietnam classroom empowers adults to learn

Never too late: Vietnam classroom empowers adults to learn

Thursday, June 20, 2024, 16:38 GMT+7
Never too late: Vietnam classroom empowers adults to learn
The literacy class in Dak Somei Commune, Dak Doa District, Gia Lai Province, located in Vietnam's Central Highlands. Photo: T.Luc / Tuoi Tre

Rain or shine, the married women and senior citizens of Dak Doa District in Gia Lai Province do their best to attend an adult literacy class.

The students, all of whom are from the Ba Na Mong ethnic minority in Vietnam, begin their studies each day after finishing up work on upland farms.

At 7:00 pm on the dot, a local parish priest uses a loudspeaker to call the students to a classroom in the district’s Dak Somei Commune. Many of these adult students show up with their children in tow.

Once in the classroom, the 60 students spend their time practicing reading and writing under the guidance of Do Huu Quang, a teacher at Dak Somei Elementary school.

HNai, 63, is the oldest student in the class, but she refused to let her age get in the way of her diligent writing practice. 

For her, the process of learning is just as important as the result.

After all, at her age, she is no longer under pressure to become literate. Instead, she simply enjoys the happiness of studying that she never had when she was younger.

At 50, Voi appears to be one of the fastest learners. His family owns a hectare of coffee trees.

Previously, he had to ask friends to write down the names of fertilizers so he could buy the correct products and rely on vendors to sell them at fair prices and weights.

Through the class, Voi is now able to focus on becoming increasingly self-sufficient.

Duong, a 41-year-old member of the literacy class, practices writing while her four-year-old son sleeps on her back. Photo: T.Luc / Tuoi Tre

Duong, a 41-year-old member of the literacy class, practices writing while her four-year-old son sleeps on her back. Photo: T.Luc / Tuoi Tre

Duong, a 41-year-old student in the class, usually attends with her four-year-old son. 

Her husband died of an alcohol addiction two years earlier, leaving her to raise their seven children on her own.

Being literate, Duong hopes, will open doors to additional job opportunities to help make ends meet.

Meanwhile, 36-year-old Dom, a mother of four, simply hopes being literate will allow her to integrate better with society. 

Typical administrative tasks, such as completing birth certificates and enrolling her children in school, have been serious obstacles for Dom.

She expects to be able to write her children's names.

According to Quang, the teacher of the class, only 30 people originally registered for it, but that number has since climbed to 65.  

All of these students, Quang said, do their best to prioritize the class against the rest of the commitments in their lives.

Dak Somei Elementary School and local authorities have opened two literacy classes for a total of 110 residents, according to principal Nguyen Xuan Luan.

The Gia Lai Department of Education and Training reported that the province has so far opened 225 literacy classes for 6,200 students.

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Thanh Ha - Tan Luc / Tuoi Tre News

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