|Đỗ Thiện Thành instructs children how to write. — Photo svvn.tienphong.vn
BÌNH DƯƠNG — Kind-hearted Đỗ Thiện Thành has been running free maths and literature classes for disadvantaged children in southern Bình Dương Province for 10 years.
From 5pm-7pm from Monday to Friday, no matter what the weather is like, children in Bình An Ward gather at Bà Temple to learn with teacher Thành.
All of the children are from poor families who can not afford tuition fees at official schools.
Many students dropped out of school in their hometowns to move to the city and work with their parents.
“They work during the day and come to my class to learn in the evening,” Thành told Sinh Viên Việt Nam (Vietnamese Students) newspaper.
“Each of the children has a different circumstance but all of them are eager to learn and well-behaved.”
Students are classified into different groups based on their levels of the subjects (grades one to five).
New students are instructed one on one by teacher Thành. If they make progress, they will be moved to higher-level groups.
“Those who completed grade 5 curriculum will join a primary level graduation ceremony. If they are willing to learn higher, I will continue to teach them at the secondary level,” Thành said.
He said the motivation that keeps him working was the love for disadvantaged children.
Thành added: “Sometimes when I feel pressure at work, I have negative thoughts. But every time I think of students in disadvantaged circumstances, I feel sympathy.
“Many people ask when I will stop running the class, I just say: As long as children who can't go to school are still out there, I will continue to teach.”
Not only a teacher who inspires children with knowledge, he calls for donations every Mid-Autumn Festival and New Year's holidays to organise parties for them.
“The kids really liked it. They kept smiling and telling their parents about the parties. When I saw their smile, I felt happy,” he said.
Being patient with free classes in 10 years, Thành always keeps an open mind” “When you give love, you will get back a smile.”
However, sometimes he felt disappointed for not being able to do anything for his students.
That’s when he witnessed children who performed well at class but were forced to drop out by their parents.
“I have met the parents and talked to them about the learning benefits but I could not change anything. Seeing students who are eager to learn but not allowed to attend class, I fell helpless.” — VNS