Teachers struggle to get students back post-Tet

Update: February, 13/2017 - 10:44
Many parents want their children to quit school and work to earn some money for the family. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — In poor, remote, mountainous areas, teachers are going up hills and down dales, knocking on students’ doors to try and get them return to school.

They say that this has become a regular post-Tet (Lunar New Year) task.

Nguyễn Thị Huệ, a teacher at the Nùng Mới Village School in Hoàng Su Phì District, Hà Giang Province, said that on Monday, when the school re-opened after Lunar New Year holiday, only seven of 13 students attended class.

“The weather is very cold and rainy here, so parents hesitate to let their children go to school, although teachers have contacted everyone and reminded them, often going to their house to convince them.”

In previous years, students have returned to school as late as the middle of the first lunar month.

“After each long holiday, students do not want to return to school, and teachers must work hard to encourage them,” said Huệ.

Trần Thu Hà, a primary school teacher Điện Biên Province’s Tuần Giáo District, said that before and after the Tết holiday, ethnic minorities had a lot of festivals of their own.

Besides, many parents want their children to quit school and work to earn some money for the family, she said.

Nguyễn Sỹ Huấn, director of the Đắk Rông District Department of Education and Training in the central province of Quảng Trị, told the Nông Thôn Ngày Nay (Countryside Today) newspaper that about 90 per cent of the students in primary schools and junior secondary schools in the province returned school after the holiday.

Many students in the province who belong to the Vân Kiều and Pa Kô ethnic minorities, have the customs of visiting other families in different communes or districts or even Laos, for several days. This was one of the reasons they don’t return to school at this time, he said.

Another reason is that some poor families let their children quit school to work and earn money.

Nguyễn Văn Đức, director of the Hướng Hóa District Department of Education and Training in Quảng Trị, said about 97 per cent of students in the district had returned to school and the teaches were trying hard to encourage more of them to attend classes.

Different incentives

Also in Quảng Trị, Đỗ Thị Xoài, a teacher of the Tà Long Primary School in Đắk Rông District, was going to students’ houses to persuade children to attend school despite the hot weather.

Xoài said that after the holiday, all teachers of the school had to do this.

Every time she visits a student’s house, Xoài asked other students to go with her, so parents could see that other children were going to school happily, and their children should do the same

Xoài also asked village heads and patriarchs to help her in convince the parents.

Lê Thị Thùy Linh, another teacher in the district, offers sweets to her students.

Every weekend, Linh prepares a big pack of confectionery to keep her students happy at school.

The Trạm Tấu District Department of Education and Training in Yên Bái Province ran an awareness campaign about the importance of going to school before the holiday began. — VNS