A teacher from Kèo Pà Tú School in Kỳ Sơn District, Nghệ An teaches students at home during the school closure due to COVID-19. Photo tuoitre.vn
NGHỆ AN — Schools across the country have been closed for three weeks due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but teachers in remote mountainous areas in central Nghệ An Province have not taken any time off.
Every day the teachers overcome rocky, slippery roads to visit all their students at home to help them with their studies.
Tây Sơn Secondary School in Tây Sơn Commune, Kỳ Sơn District is located 20km from the commune’s centre at more than 1,600m above sea level.
During the unexpected closure, in the freezing cold weather, Nguyễn Hồ Quang and his colleagues go to Mường Xén Town to photocopy exercises for their students.
“Students from the Mông ethnic group follow their parents into the fields whenever they don’t have to go to school. We are worried the students will forget what they have learnt so we have been taking turns to visit them at home,” Quang told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.
Despite the closure, teachers at Tây Sơn school have been hard at work cleaning classrooms.
Electricity and mobile phone connections are sometimes shaky in mountainous areas, not to mention the internet.
“Although teachers here have been trained about e-learning, we can not apply it due to the poor conditions,” said Nguyễn Quốc Hội from Kèo Pà Tú School in Bắc Lý Commune.
Lô Thị Dung from Mậu Đức Primary School in Con Cuông District has been visiting all her students at the start of each week to give them work to be getting on with.
She helps them review maths and literature lessons, and assigns them tests she checks at the end of the week when she returns.
Dung designs specific lessons for weaker students, and spends more time with them or showing their parents how to help.
Many teachers in Tương Dương District have also to taken boats to reach their students.
Hội said there were only two ways to reach students in Lượng Minh Commune by the Bản Vẽ Hydropower Reservoir: either climbing and walking through streams in landslide spots, or taking a 40-minute ride. Most teachers choose boats for safety.
Many teachers have volunteered to stay in the villages to help their students. They bring books and newspapers to encourage them to stay at home and study instead of going out and playing in large crowds.
Phan Văn Thiết, head of Kỳ Sơn District’s Division of Education and Training, said the conditions did not allow teachers to offer online classes, so they had selflessly set out by themselves to students’ houses.
He praised the teachers for their initiative, saying that schools and students were thankful to them. — VNS