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Vietnamese Elementary Students Swim Daily to School

Posted Sep 26 2011 7:30am
email Vietnamese Elementary Students Swim Daily to School


Dozens of students have to swim twice a day across the river in order to get to school. In order to keep the clothes and books from getting wet, the students put them in  large plastic bags and tightly sealed while crossing the river almost naked. Upon reaching the other side of the river, they take their clothes out of the bag and put them on.

Upon hearing the news from many teachers  at commune Trong Hoa of Minh Hoa district, Quang Binh,  on the conditions of students of village Tu and village Ka Oóc to swim across the river, we drove hundreds of miles to be present at the river stream to witness a sad spectacle to shed to tears:

  • Dozens of students have to swim across the river in order to go to the Primary School Hung (Trong Hoa commune, Minh Hoa district).
 Vietnamese Elementary Students Swim Daily to School
Students of village Tu, Ka Oóc ,  swim through fast flowing river to school to elementary school Hung, Trong Hoa commune, Minh Hoa district,
The day we arrived,  heavy rain poured down yesterday, water gap at the river stream was still deep and fast flowing. Behind the rocks and after the flood, the river was about 20 meter deep, there were 15 students from grade 1 to grade 5, who are dark-skinned and were taking off their clothes and put everything and books into a plastic bag which was then inflated and tightened. They were swimming hard through 15 meter distance to reach the other side of the river. These plastics bags were also being used to keep them afloat while swimming across the river.

Hồ Không (5th grade, Hung Primary School) said: “The water is deep and fast flowing, which do scare them. But because they  want to go to school to learn and get vocational job later that would help their future, so they take the risk to swim across the river. “

 Vietnamese Elementary Students Swim Daily to School
One student raised his head backpacks, swim across the river
It is known for almost a year ago, near village Hung, there was passenger canoe to cross the river but it was not able to meet the demand, so many people had still  to swim across a river. Unfortunately, big floods had washed away the passenger canoe last year.

Ms. Ho Thi Thanh -- a long-time resident living here -- said: The river water has washed away many people, but luckily no one lost their lives.

During the flood season in 2009, Ms. Cao Thi Thuc -- Kindergarten teacher at Trong Hoa -- and another teacher took the small boat to cross the river; in the middle of the river, water overturned the boat. The other teacher knew how to swim to shore, while Ms. Cao Thi Thuc was swept away for nearly 200 meters of water before she was rescued by a local resident.

A recent event happened to Mr.Hồ Nhâm, who was swimming across the river and had leg cramps, he was washed away but was also blessed to be rescued by a local resident.

 Vietnamese Elementary Students Swim Daily to School
In order to obtain literacy,  some risk their lives.
At the other river bank, Mr. Dinh Thanh Tung -- teacher primary school Hung - said: “The fact that  students from village Tu have to swim across the river to go to school at village Hung has been known for sometimes.  The conditions are very difficult for the students. In order to get literacy, the student risk their lives everyday “

Teacher Dinh Thiem -- also the principal of Elementary school Hung -- expressed his concerns: “Seeing students swimming across the river to get the school for literacy is disheartening and very insecureAlthough the school has cooperated with the parents and the teachers to monitor each time the students swim across the river to get to school or return home, the condition is still not safe.

Teacher Thiem added that during the rainy season the water rises very quickly and flows very quickly at stream Rao, the students have to miss school. On average, each year, students from village Tu have to miss school for at least a month due to flooding. Therefore, this has an impact on  on the quality of teaching and learning.

 Vietnamese Elementary Students Swim Daily to School
After swimming through the water “devil” they re-tailored outfit to go to school
Exchanging with the reporters of Dan Tri,  Mr. Ho Phin -- Party Secretary Trong Hoa commune, said: “This condition is no exception for village Tu, in village Ka Oóc most travel activities also require to swim across a river. To build a bridge, a budget is huge while the economic situation is  very difficult. There was a geographic survey group, which came here to assess the situation,  5 billion dong ($ 34,000) budget is insufficient to build a bridge. We are hoping the higher level of  region will pay more attention to help the students, teachers and people of village Tu, village Hung, village Ka Oóc, and the commune Trong Hoa  soon have bridge to facilitate and secure travel.”

Via Dan Tri: Rơi nước mắt trước cảnh học sinh bơi qua sông đến trường


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