Students at a branch school of Ta Giang Phinh primary boarding school. (Photo:VGP)
Ta Giang Phinh commune is located at the foot of Ngu Chi Son Mountain in Lao Cai province, where the temperature is sometimes below zero degrees Celsius in winter. On those days, snow and frost cover trees and roads.
Last winter, Ta Giang Phinh was one of the most seriously affected communes. Poor students who lacked warm clothes had to stay home from school.
This winter, the daytime temperature is about 5 degrees Celsius, but students at all Ta Giang Phinh primary schools are going to school as usual.
The main school is consolidating final grade students from the other schools to give them a better learning environment.
Hang Thi May, who studied at the Suoi Thau 2 branch school last year, said: “I’m happy to be moved to the main school, where I get better care. When it’s cold, the teachers give us warm clothes. We have safe water and delicious food. But as we can return home only once a week, I feel homesick.”
Most of the Ta Giang Phinh villagers are of the Mong ethnic minority. In the past, the majority of local children studied in makeshift classrooms on the mountain slopes. They had to cross streams or walk through snow in bare feet to get to school.
|Vietcombank representatives hand over solar water heaters and warm clothes to students of Ta Giang Phinh primary boarding school. (Photo:VGP)
Nguyen Thi Quyen, Rector of the Ta Giang Phinh primary boarding school, said this winter the children have hot water thanks to a solar water heating system paid for by the Vietnam Bank for Foreign Trade (Vietcombank).
“We received 3 solar water heaters. Students from disadvantaged families can use hot water to bathe before going home. I was very moved by the gifts given to our 31 orphan students on the occasion of the upcoming Lunar New Year Festival,” said Quyen.
The boarding students stay at the school and only return home at weekends. Vietcombank has given gifts worth 13,000 USD to help address the shortage of beds, school supplies, warm clothes, and blankets.
Nguyen Xuan Truong, Vice Chairman of the Sa Pa District People's Council, said: “The gifts have helped the children get through a cold winter. We hope to see more support for the children attending remote schools so they can stay warm every winter.”