Teacher LồThị Lan in a literature lesson. Photos tienphong.vn
LÀO CAI — Many students in Dìn Chin – one of the poorest, most remote communes in Mường Khương District, consider teacher Lồ Thị Lan a second mother thanks to her dedication.
Lan, 30, is a teacher at Dìn Chin ethnic semi-boarding primary and secondary school in the northern mountainous province of Lào Cai.
She is in charge of teaching first-graders – the hardest task because these students are not yet accustomed to the schooling environment.
“Most of the students at Dìn Chin are ethnic minorities. The language difference affects their communication and learning capacity,” Lan told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.
Being a member of Bố Y ethnic minority group, she understood the students faced a lot of challenges including poor learning conditions.
“I am ready to devote efforts and overcome difficulties to teach the students because I don’t want to let them be illiterate and live in poverty for the rest of their lives,” she said.
The thing that makes her worry most is when the students drop out of school. Due to family financial difficulties, some of them have missed schooling to help their parents farm.
Over the past nine years, Lan has visited their homes many times to persuade them to let the students return to school.
When the children have difficulties in class, she is on hand to help.
Lan learnt their language so she could talk to them more easily and understand more about their circumstances. She also taught the students life skills to help them better respond to the requirements of daily life.
However, Lan said, the shortage of water is the biggest challenge.
Every day, early in the morning and after school, Lan and her colleagues carry plastic cans to fetch water from a stream which is about a kilometre from the school.
This job was not easy at all, she said.
“It is actually collecting every drop of water. Each can of water is a test of patience for the collector because each one has to line up. Sometimes, it takes me two hours to be in my turn to get two cans.
“The whole village only has one water source that flows too slow. There is another source not far from this water source but people must pass a rocky slope. Sometimes only a little volume of water is left after coming home,” she said.
The first lesson Lan learnt after arriving at the commune was saving water and how to use it in a smart way.
As the water source is scarce, the teachers and students of Dìn Chin school have to take full advantage of the water which was used to wash the vegetables or the dishes.
Every time, when it rains, the whole school will do washing, cleaning and store water.
When the students have difficulties in class, Lan is on hand to help.
Although life was hard for her, over the past nine years, Lan has never thought of quitting.
“I have chosen a job as a teacher with the hope of contributing a part to the sowing of dreams, setting the first step for a new generation.
“I believe any teacher will feel happiness when students begin to read, write, do the first calculations, gradually mature to become useful people for society,” Lan said.
“Every time I step onto the podium and look at the innocent faces waiting intently at class, all my hard work disappears, giving way to motherhood and passionate love for the job. "
For many years, Lan has been a good teacher.
She was among those praised at the programme 'Sharing with Teachers' in 2020, held recently by the Central Committee of the Viet Nam Youth Union, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Committee for Ethnic Minorities and the Thiên Long Group. The event aimed at honouring excellent teachers from ethnic minorities who teach in remote and disadvantaged areas.
Commenting on Lan’s work, Trần Văn Hùng, deputy head of her school, said: "It’s her enthusiasm, closeness with the students and special love for them make Lan gain the trust and being loved by both students and their parents."
"Lan's efforts have become a motivation for her colleagues, giving them more confidence and effort in teaching," he added. — VNS