Trần Thị Tuyền, 44, a Vietnamese citizen living in Cambodian Pray Veng Province, teach her children at a quarantine site in Hồng Ngự District, Đồng Tháp Province. — Photo baodongthap.vn
ĐỒNG THÁP — Phan Thị Thùy Trang, wants to go back to school as soon as she gets out of quarantine camp.
The ninth-grade student at Thường Lạc Secondary School in Hồng Ngự District, the Mekong Delta province of Đồng Tháp, is staying in a camp in Hồng Ngự District.
"I have been isolated for four days. There are only 10 days left before I can go to school. I will be very happy because I can meet my teachers and friends," Trang told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.
Trang is one of many Vietnamese in Cambodia studying in Đồng Tháp's public schools that face many obstacles due to the pandemic.
Đồng Tháp has a 50km-long border with Pray Veng Province.
Prior to the pandemic, many Vietnamese students in Cambodia could go to school in Việt Nam and then return to their homes in Cambodia on the same day.
Due to the complex developments of COVID-19, Đồng Tháp is tightening the management of the border.
For months, anyone crossing the border from Cambodia to Việt Nam has been required to undergo 14 days of centralised quarantine.
Schools only accept students to resume study when they finish the quarantine period, according to the newspaper.
During studying, they must stay in Việt Nam until the Government changes rules over daily border crossings for people in border areas.
Thái Trọng Nhân (second right, first row) with other students at a class in Thường Lạc Secondary School, Hồng Ngự District. — Photo baodongthap.vn
Thái Trọng Nhân, an eighth-grade student studying in Thường Lạc Secondary School, Hồng Ngự District, said for many months, he has not been able to go home in Cambodia due to COVID-19 pandemic. He has to stay at his grandmother's house in Tân Hội Commune, Hồng Ngự Township to go to school.
According to Huỳnh Văn Tài, vice chairman of Hồng Ngự District People's Committee, the district has 201 students who are Vietnamese citizens living in Cambodia. About 140 students joined classes.
The remaining students are still in Cambodia. Some of the students' family don't want their children to go to school because they don't want to be quarantined, Tài said.
Many students have missed the start of the new school year.
Primary school students are still young and need the care of their relatives, so they can't stay in quarantine site alone.
Meanwhile, many students have difficult circumstances. Their parents have to work far from home to earn a living so they can't quit their jobs to follow their children to Việt Nam.
"Both Vietnamese and Vietnamese students abroad enjoy the same policies of the school," Hồ Văn Thương, vice-rector of Dinh Bà Primary School in Tân Hồng District, told Đồng Tháp online newspaper.
There are 38 Vietnamese students that live in Cambodia studying at the school.
On September 24, 24 children entered school. These students live with their relatives in Tân Hồng District.
Before the 2020-21 academic year, the provincial Department of Education and Training issued a request to agencies and units to ensure the education of Vietnamese students living Cambodia while they are studying in Việt Nam.
Vietnamese agencies also contacted Cambodian agencies to encourage students in Cambodia to return to Việt Nam and to be put under quarantine according to regulations and then attend classes.
Colonel Nguyễn Quang Định, deputy commander of the Border Guard Command, said students and their relatives who want to stay at the border guard station to study in local schools need to register with the Border Guard Command to have plans for preparing accommodation.
During their quarantine, secondary school students take part in online classes and receive documents from their teachers, said Huỳnh Thanh Hùng, deputy director of the Department of Education and Training.
Vietnamese students abroad who enrol in the school year late will receive their teachers' support so they can keep up with the programme, he said.
As of September 22, there were 271 Vietnamese students who live abroad studying at schools in the Hồng Ngự and Tân Hồng districts and Hồng Ngụ Township.
Of which, 175 students went to school and their health is stable.
The schools contacted students by phone to encourage them to go to school, but most of their families did not want to be under quarantine, Hùng said. — VNS