|The literacy class in Binh Lieu district is open from Monday to Friday. (Photo: VOV).
It is hard work to bring education to remote mountainous areas, but teaching the elderly is even more difficult. The teachers are carefully vetted and they must live in the village where they teach.
“I come from the Tay ethnic group. To teach here, I need to learn the languages of other ethnic minorities in order to explain things to them clearly,” said teacher NongThi Lan.
The students are mainly Dao and San Chi people between the ages of 28 and 60. Most of them are the breadwinners of their family, and are very busy working during the day.
At first, the class had only 10 students, but it gradually attracted more local people who wanted to be able to read and write. It takes 9 months for students to earn a certificate of literacy. Duong A Chiu and his wife Tran Thi Chau go to class every evening after a hard day of farming.
“I’ve had a lot of problems in my life due to illiteracy. I couldn’t sign my name and had to use a finger print,” said Chiu.
“All of our children are able to read and write, so we felt we had to study. I feel excited to be learning. It’s broadening my mind,” said Chiu's wife.
|Eradicating illiteracy for ethnic minority people is an important and long-term task. (Photo: VOV)
Binh Lieu district used to have the highest illiteracy rate in Quang Ninh province. Since 2014 Binh Lieu has held 96 literacy classes and issued certificates of literacy to more than 1,600 students.
“The students can now read and write at a basic level and are able to use mobile phones. We also teach them husbandry and farming techniques. It’s hard work because everything is taught in Vietnamese. The local authorities play an important role in this effort, but for the classes to be effective, the students themselves must make an effort,” said Hoang Ngoc Ngo, Vice Chairman of the district People’s Committee.
Eradicating illiteracy takes time, but the authorities and the teachers will keep at it as long as it takes to educate the local people and help them improve their standard of living.