Teacher dedicates his life to education in Lai Châu

June 01, 2022 - 11:36

For nearly 20 years, Principal Bùi Văn Nhiệt has been praised for his commitment to his students at Hua Bum School, Nậm Nhùn District in the northern mountainous province of Lai Châu.

Teacher Bùi Văn Nhiệt visits a local family to encourage them to send their children to school. Photo giaoducthoidai.vn

LAI CHÂU - For nearly 20 years, Principal Bùi Văn Nhiệt has been living and working at the remote Hua Bum School, in the northern mountainous province of Lai Châu.

He knows children grow up in hardship in every village in the area but helps them all the same.

Bùi Văn Nhiệt was born into a five-child family in Yên Nghiệp Commune, Lạc Sơn District, Hòa Bình Province.

His father was a teacher and Nhiệt joined him in the profession.

In September 2003, he began working at Hua Bum High School, Mường Tè District (now in Nậm Nhùn District).

Hua Bum is a mountainous commune that shares a 14km border with Yunnan Province of China. There are a lot of ethnic minorities living there and people's lives are still full of hardships, deprivation and many outdated customs.

Nhiệt said that to reach Hua Bum, people had to walk for half a day. There was no electricity or water. 

Nhiệt said: "Even though I had planned to go to a poor commune to teach, I didn't think Hua Bum would be that poor."

In the first year at Hua Bum, he was assigned to teach at Nậm Nghẹ, a four-hour walk from the commune’s centre. The facilities were just a temporary house, with wooden pillars, walls made of reeds and thatched roofs, though most were rotten.

Nhiệt said that it took me more than a week to go to each house and ask for help rebuilding the classroom. He also made use of the boards cut from wood to make tables and boards.

The most difficult thing was the language barrier.

“My students do not fully understand the national language. I remember once giving a lecture, a student stood up and said 'I don't know what you're saying!'. At that time, I could only speak slowly, re-reading the lesson," he said.

Then, Nhiệt had to ask the villagers for a teaching assistant while he was in class. He also learned ethnic languages to support his teaching.

Because Nậm Nghẹ did not have electricity, he had to go back to his hometown to buy a water generator to bring to school. He became the first person to bring light to Nậm Nghẹ Village.

“After buying a generator, I asked locals to build a dam to direct water for electricity at the school. After a few days of building dams and conducting wires, the first electric light turned on in Nậm Nghẹ Village,” he said with a smile.

“Villagers asked me where to buy the machine. I instructed them on how to install the machine, and connect the wires to avoid shorting because, at that time, all electricity used bare wires.”

In 2013, Bùi Văn Nhiệt was appointed as Principal of Hua Bum Primary School. That was the result of 10 years of dedication to the cause of education in this border region.

After nearly 20 years there, Nhiệt is familiar with the living habits of ethnic minorities.

Knowing a lot about Hua Bum, for young and new teachers, Nhiệt has encouraged them to understand the region's difficulties and contribute to the education of this border area.

Quách Văn Xiêm, a young teacher at Hua Bum Primary School, said: "When I came here to work, I am greatly helped by Nhiệt. He shares with us and understands the local customs.”

Chẻo Sần Phạ, Head of Nậm Cười Village said: “The teachers here are really good. They always help the villagers. As for Nhiệt, even though he is the principal, he regularly visits families of students that's why the villagers also appreciate him very much." VNS