Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

Transforming a shed into a school

Vietnam has made impressive progress towards universal access to education for children. However, there are still vast improvements to be made for ethnic minority children living in remote areas.

Many schools in these areas aren’t equipped with the teachers and supplies needed to deliver a quality education to their students. Others operate in unsafe buildings or on unsecure premises which are threatened by dangerous wildlife.

This is the story of a single school in Ong, Vietnam, which was transformed from a simple shed into a thriving learning experience for children.

 

Children go to school in a shed

 

In Hoa Binh province, children in Ong village only had access to a one-room school that was very run-down and considered unsafe. Ong satellite school consisted of a one-room building shared by children of different ages and education levels. When it rained, children who attended the school would get wet and the dirt floor would turn to mud. When it stormed the wind would shake the whole building, making it very difficult for children to concentrate on learning.

 

How did ChildFund improve the learning experience for children in Ong?

 

To improve the education opportunities for children in Ong village, ChildFund supported the construction of a new school. The school was funded by insurance company Hanwha Life Vietnam in partnership with ChildFund Korea and ChildFund Vietnam.

Ong satellite school now consists of five classrooms, toilet blocks and playgrounds. The total area is 2,300 square metres, in which the classrooms and functional rooms account for 315 square metres, and the rest of the area is saved for a big playground and shaded trees for the kids to enjoy.

“Ong village is about four kilometres away from the commune centre where the primary school is located but due to difficult terrain and transportation, it is very difficult for children to walk to school every day,” says Mrs Dinh Thi Hanh Quyen, Headmaster of Nam Phong primary school. “For years, we have only had one degraded classroom and often we could hold only one combined class for children under eight years old. Thanks to this newly built school, we can now arrange a full option of classes for about 100 children in the village to attend in this new school year.”

 

An education requires more than a building

 

Apart from building the new school, ChildFund also has provided the necessary teaching and learning equipment to get it well prepared to receive students in the coming school year. More entertaining facilities have also been installed in the playground so that the young children can fully enjoy their time when going to school.

“We hope that the newly built Ong satellite school will not only provide the children with a good learning environment but also pave the way for them to achieve their dreams towards a better future,” says Mr Back Jong Kook, General Director of Hanwha Life Vietnam. “Providing financial support to this project has helped reflect on our mission, which is about life insurance products and the way we can help the Vietnamese people plan their future and make their dreams come true.”

 

What is the impact of these projects upon teaching and learning in Vietnam?

 

Ong satellite school is one of seven schools that have been newly built in Vietnam over the past year, thanks to support from ChildFund sponsors and donors. ChildFund has also provided teacher training and learning materials to many other community primary and kindergarten schools.

More than 17,000 children in three provinces of Vietnam have benefitted from this support.

If you would like to support our efforts to improve access to quality education in Vietnam, there’s a few ways you can contribute:

  • Sponsor a child: Our child sponsorship program supports a child in need by providing them with school supplies and other day to day essentials, such as food and healthcare.
  • Sponsor a community: Our child-focused community development projects provide assets to improve the livelihoods of all who live the communities where we work.
  • Donate Gifts for Good: The range of charity gifts in our Gifts for Good catalogue includes library books, study desks, school bags and other items that will enhance a child’s learning experience.

Why is it important to give? Because every child has a right to an education, and every child needs a childhood.

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