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Vietnam ethnic students make shacks on hills for e-learning

06:00 | 15/04/2020

Amid Covid-19 pandemic, learning has to be mantained via online doing. It seems be popular and normal to urban students, but big obstacles on ethnic students' way. Many of them have to stay tens of km far relations or friends' houses, some make shacks on a hill by themself to catch 3G signal, others ride their bikes to the commune committee office ... for e-learning or online learning.

E-learning has become the new normal for students in Vietnam when schools have remained closed since February due to Covid-19.

As per the guideline " Schools halted, learning continues" by Ministry of Education and Training, almost schools in Vietnam have implemented their online teaching and learning via Zoom app and got good results. It is clear that urban students find the new learning easy and convenient while ethnic minority students living in remote areas meet obstacles. However, nothing can stop those if they are willing to learn.

vietnam ethnic students make shacks on hills for e learning
Quang The Ha, a 10th grade student, building a hut on a hill near his home for 3G signal to study online. (Photo Viet Bac Highland High School)

Minutes before 7 a.m, 10th-grader Quang The Ha scales a hill to catch 3G signal before his online lesson starts.

Ha, a Thai ethnic minority student in the north-central Nghe An Province, does not have electricity at home, which runs on solar energy.

There’s also no Internet for Ha to access online lessons provided by Viet Bac Highland High School in Thai Nguyen Province, 404 kilometers north of his hometown.

Since his school launched its online program via Zoom and Microsoft Teams on April 1, studying brings him a challenge that requires Ha to first find a stable Internet supply to receive and submit assignments. Purposefully, he decided to climb a hill 10 minutes away on foot to access a usable 3G connection, erecting a small study hut in the process. Since, he has not missed a single lesson. He spends each morning in the hut studying and returns home in the afternoon to complete his homework and help with housework.

Nearby, 12th-grader Xong Ba Chia, a H'Mong student from the same school, has been studying in a similar hut, though closer to his home and built by local farmers to store harvested corn.

vietnam ethnic students make shacks on hills for e learning
A corn hut where Xong Ba Chia has been studying online each day in Nghe An Province. (Photo:Viet Bac Highland High School)

Though the Internet signal remains unstable, Chia manages to follow the gist of most lessons. After class, he helps his parents in the field to share the burden of earning an income for their seven-member household.

Adversities bring wisdoms, many of them have to stay tens of km far relations or friends' houses, others ride their bikes to the distant commune committee offices everyday...for persistent learning.

vietnam ethnic students make shacks on hills for e learning
Ho A Vang - 12A15 grade , HMong ethnic in Ma Thi Ho, Dien Bien town. He makes a shack 1-km far from his house by himself for 4G signal catching to learn online.(Photo: giaoducthoidai)
vietnam ethnic students make shacks on hills for e learning
Trieu Thi Bich, Dao ethnic, 12A7 grade, in Vu Chan, Vo Nhai, Thai Nguyen. Bich has to stay in her friend's house for online studying due to no wifi in her house which is 20-km far from her home. (Photo:giaoducthoidai)
vietnam ethnic students make shacks on hills for e learning
Po Hung Son, La Hu ethnic, 12A8 grade, in Bum To, Muong Te, Lai Chau prv, to catch 3G signal for online studying, he and his father build a hut on a hill. The hill takes him 1 hour to walk, so he has stayed at the hut himself with some rice, firewood and salt for eating for 1 month.( Photo: giaoducthoidai)
vietnam ethnic students make shacks on hills for e learning
Vang Ha Me, Lahu ethnic, 12A8 grade, in Muong Te, Lai Chau, she has to ride to a 4km far place for studying with 3G signal after helping her parents on their farm ( Photo: giaoducthoidai)

vietnam ethnic students make shacks on hills for e learning
Sung A Si, Mong ethnic, 12A8 grade in Muong Te, Lai Chau, live in a very poor family which sometimes he hasn't got enough rice to feed, but he still works in the field and walks to the hill which is very far from his field to catch 3G signal for online studying.(Photo: giaoducthoidai)
vietnam ethnic students make shacks on hills for e learning
Vang A Po, HMong ethnic, 12A6 grade, in Cao Chai, Muong Te, Lai Chau, he has to both work and study on the field. (Photo: giaoducthoidai)
vietnam ethnic students make shacks on hills for e learning
Hoang Thi My, Hmong ethnic, 11A4 grade, in Quang Lam, Bao Lam, Cao Bang. She has to work early on the field and study after a hard working day.(Photo: giaoducthoidai)
vietnam ethnic students make shacks on hills for e learning
Vang Thi Xa, Hmong ethnic, 11A4 grade, in Can Cau, Si Ma Cai, Lao Cai. She has to also work on the fiels daily and study in her relax time there due to no internet at home.
vietnam ethnic students make shacks on hills for e learning
Ha Van Quan, Muong ethnic, 11A6 grade, in Trung Thanh, Quan Hoa, Thanh Hoa. He has to study outdoor to get 4G signal for learning. (photo: giaoducthoidai)

Tarah Nguyen