Anti-illiteracy campaign – Sowing hope for ethnic minority people

Chia sẻ
(VOVWORLD) - Sop Cop, a mountainous district in Son La province, is one of the poorest districts in Vietnam. Two thirds of its people, who are between the ages of 15 and 60, are illiterate, which is a sign of poverty and undevelopment. The local government points out that anti-illiteracy is one of the key solutions and is making illiteracy eradication efforts. Several literacy classes have opened, drawing the participation of many people from all age groups. VOV reports:
The literacy class in Nam Tia, Sam Kha commune, Sop Cop district, has 20 students, and Ms. Tong Thi Panh, 56, is the oldest. She is so eager to join the class: "I've finished 1st grade. I'm going to enter the 2nd one. Now I can read and write, which brings me so much happiness. Learning never stops. I will try my best and keep on learning.” 
Tutor Lo Van Manh, 25, belongs to the army’s Defense Economic Division, which is based in Sam Kha commune. The division joined hands with local government to open classes and launch diverse learning activities to help learners develop their reading and writing skills.
According to Manh, most classes depend on the student's schedule. The class has to be postponed during haverst seasons to ensure all students have enough time for a crop, and restart when students have free time again. Manh said: “I was surprised and a little bit nervous at first because my students are almost the same ages of my mother and grandmother. Now I’m very proud to be a teacher and determined to exert my effort and responsibility so that all my students learn how to read and write.” 
Anti-illiteracy campaign – Sowing hope for ethnic minority people - ảnh 1The literacy class in Nam Tia, Sam Kha commune, Sop Cop district (Photo: VOV)

A literacy class in Mong Nong village at Muong Lan border commune has 39 students, from 25 to 30 years old. Ms. Giang Thi Song, head of the local women's union, said due to difficult living conditions in the past, she was not allowed to go to school. When she heard the news that a literacy class had opened, Song registered and encouraged others to join the class. She said:  “The way it is taught is easy to understand and remember. The lessons are not just about reading and writing, but also provide general knowledge on cultivation methods, disease prevention, and practical matters that I can apply to my current job at the local women's union. I love going to the class.”

In just 4 years, the anti-illiteracy program has helped 2,500 people in Sop Cop learn how to read and write, so they can now read books, newspapers, and learn cultivation methods. With determination, many people have become local government officials who guide others to implement the party's guidelines and legal policies toward a better life.
People in Muong Lan commune still tell their children the story of Tong Thi Quyen, a Thai girl who rode her bicycle 70km from her house everyday to the town’s high school. Quyen then became a teacher, and now Deputy Head of the District’s Education Department. For Quyen, learning is a wonderful opportunity that opens a good future:“I deeply understand the hardships that people have endured and the reasons why many people in my hometown are still living in extreme poverty. It’s lack of education. Many people asked me what my motivation was when I decided to study fora master's degrees. I said want to be an example for my children and my community to know that learning is the key for a better life.”
Anti-illiteracy campaign – Sowing hope for ethnic minority people - ảnh 2In just 4 years, the anti-illiteracy program has helped 2,500 people in Sop Cop learn how to read and write (Photo: VOV) 

Sop Cop district has cooperated with millitary units in the area to make illiteracy eradication productive. Lieutenant Colonel Tran Manh Cuong, Deputy Head of the Defense Economic Division, said that his Division regularly sends its officers to teach locals. 5 literacy classes of 125 students have opened in Muong Lan, Muong Va, and Sam Kha communes since the beginning of the year, according to Lieutenant Colonel Cuong. “Many people who learned from us changed their perceptions and refreshed their minds from outdated ways of cultivation. Their living conditions have all improved.”   

Lieutenant Colonel Lo Van Binh of the Nam Lanh Border Guard Station said 2 officers have been sent to training of trainers’ courses. They are now in charge of 2 literary classes in the villages of Hua Lanh and Huoi Hia. “When learning, people can search for information themselves and know how to apply science and technology on breeding and cultivation. Recently, villagers have mastered techniques for planting fruit trees on steep land, thus their living condition has been improved,” Binh said.
Anti-illiteracy campaign – Sowing hope for ethnic minority people - ảnh 3 The lives of villagers who know how to read and write are better day by day (Photo: VOV)

Thanks to the determination of the whole political system, the percentage of illiterate people aged 15 to 60 has sharply declined in Vietnam.                     

-“Many people think it’s not necessary to go to school because they have land for cultivation, which is enough.But if they do not study, they don’t have knowledge to apply science and technology in renovating the soil, thus their living conditions can’t be improved.
- “The lives of villagers who know how to read and write are better day by day, so I decided to go to this class. Life is so much easier now.”
- "Previously, our village did not know how to read or write. We could not distinguish the border, border line, or border area. Now we know what border means and have regularly coordinated with border forces to safeguard national security and safety." 
You’ve been listening to the Sunday show on the Voice of Vietnam. This week, we’ve been talking about the anti-illiteracy campaign, which brings hope for ethnic minority people.  We welcome your feedback at: English Service, VOV World Service, Radio the Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu Street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Or you can email us at: Tune in to our English program on the Internet at Good bye. See you next time.