Tuesday, May 26 2020

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Remote schools struggle to get pupils to return

Update: May, 07/2020 - 08:27

 

A teacher comes to his students' home in remote hamlet to persuade them coming back to school after long unscheduled break due to COVID-19 pandemic. Photo vtv.vn

QUẢNG BÌNH – Teachers in mountainous areas have been struggling to persuade students in remote villages to return to school after the long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After more than three months of absence, students in many cities and provinces nationwide were joyful to return to school earlier this week.

However, the situation in remote mountainous areas was quite different.

To ensure students do not miss classes, teachers of ethnic minority boarding schools in the mountainous districts of Minh Hoá and Tuyên Hoá in central Quảng Bình Province have gone to remote villages to inform students of the reopening schedule and to persuade them to return.

Trần Trọng Lam, deputy principal of Trọng Hoá Ethnic Minority Boarding School 2, told vtv.vn that there are 15 schools in Trọng Hoá Commune with 527 ethnic minority students.

“After getting a schedule from the provincial Department of Education and Training, the school asked teachers to go to villages to persuade students to come back to school,” said Lam.

“It was because life in the remote and mountainous area is very hard and children’s learning is not cared for by their parents,” the teacher said.

“Skipping class is regular. So the after-school jobs of the teachers here are to visit students’ home to ask their parents to let them study,” he said.

Cao Thị Hoàng, a teacher in Si hamlet in Trọng Hoá District of Quảng Bình, said it was farming season so children had to work with their families.

“To ensure all students come back to school, my colleagues and I had to knock on every house in the evening not once but many times,” Hoàng said.

Teachers in the northern mountainous province of Lai Châu have had similar experiences.

In the border district of Mường Tè, most students are ethnic minorities, according to Lý Mỹ Ly, head of Mường Tè Department of Education and Training.

“The population is scattered and transport is difficult so the students would not return to school after the unscheduled and prolonged break due to the pandemic,” Ly told baotintuc.vn.

Teachers and border soldiers went to remote hamlets to persuade students to come back to school, he said.

In a boarding school of Sùng Phài Commune of Lai Châu City, all classrooms have been disinfected and have quarantine areas in case students develop symptoms of COVID-19.

Face masks, hand washing liquid and body temperature checks have been prepared for teachers and students.

Sùng Phài School has a total 161 students, of which 53 stay in the school dormitory.

Before the pandemic, two students shared a bed in the dorms.

But now to ensure a 1m-distance between students, the school has built some temporary rooms in the backyard for lodging.

“The classes will be divided into two study shifts and the number of students will be less than 30 per class,” said Trần Lệ Quyên, principal of Sùng Phài School.

“The meals will also be served in separate trays. Students will be recommended to keep a safe distance in canteens,” Quyên said.

“However, the job will be difficult because most of the students are poor ethnic minority children so their awareness of hygiene will be a challenge,” the principal added. – VNS

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