Mountain school: a job only for the dedicated
  • | vns | March 25, 2017 03:25 PM
Life is hard in the borderland, but teachers in the mountainous province of Lai Châu are doing their best to bring young children to school so that they can learn how to read and write.

Impoverished villages located deep in the country’s northern mountain range have become their second home. Many have been in these parts of the country for tens of years; some even left their own children in their hometown to continue their work.

These teachers, who are barely doing financially better than their poor students, are there to help local communities break away from vicious cycles of illiteracy and poverty, one young pupil at a time.

It is a struggle for them, both teachers and students, just to get to school. Long and treacherous mountain dirt roads, unpredictable weather calamities and parents who are too poor or unwilling to send their children to school – these are just a few obstacles the incredible spirits face on a daily basis.

It is an uphill battle they have to fight. But this is the first time there is hope in eradicating illiteracy in local communities, and it is all thanks to the nameless teachers who refuse to give up.

That’s the big picture. For most of those teachers, it is enough to see brilliant smiles on the faces of young children in classrooms as they learn new things every day.

Long and winding road: Teachers drive this 18-km dirt trail every day to get to school. The trail is only safe to use during fine weather. During rainy season, they have to walk while violent flash floods and landslides are frequent occurrences.

Sunny afternoon: Students of Vừ A Dính Primary School play during a break in the school’s playground.

Recitation: First-grade students at Vừ A Dính Primary School in Phong Thổ District, Lai Châu Province during a reading class.

True sacrifice: Teacher Lý Thị Diệm in San Cha Commune, Phong Thổ District, takes her students back home after school. As the school is located deep in the mountains, she must leave her own two kids in the care of her parents.

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