A dangerous path to school
  • | | October 11, 2010 02:41 PM

Children in the mountainous village of Phu Mua have to swim or wade across a fast-moving river to go to school with their parents every day.


Many school girls have to cross the river on their own.

These days, despite the dangerous rain and flood season, parents in Phu Mua Village, Jo Ngay Commune, Dong Nam District, central Quang Nam Province, still take their children to school daily by crossing the R’lang River.

Standing at the river section running through the village on October 9, Dantri/DTiNews reporters saw many villagers take pupils to school. Alang Ting said, “Without a bridge, we have had to fight with the dangerous river for years. Many times, I almost lost my life but I had no better choice.”

Alang Thi Tat recalled that, “Last year a group of nearly ten local women and children almost died when crossing the river. We were swept away nearly 100 metres from the bank due to the flood, luckily, young people saved us.”

Alang Thi Tam, a 6/3-grade student at Le Van Tam Day-boarding Secondary School, said “Every day, I have to walk for five kilometres and swim across the river to school. Sometimes, I feel discouraged, but still I try to overcome this feeling when thinking of my family’s difficult situation.”

Taml added that many school girls she had to cross the river on her own when her parents were busy with work.

Bh’nướch Pat, a resident in Phu Mua Village said, “We are unable to buy goods on rainy days. Our village has been isolated during the flood seasons for years.”

The village\'s party secretary, Alang Bay shared, “In the rainy season, many parents must halt their cultivation work to help their children attend school.”

The river is quite deep, thus, children themselves cannot swim across it but need help from an adult. Most of the pupils are Cotu ethnic minority people and are learning at Jo Ngay Primary School and Le Van Tam Day-boarding Secondary School.

Head of the village, Alang Cho says that the village has only 30 pupils of different levels because the dangerous road to school has prevented many of them from learning. He also added that the village has 25 houses with 105 people who are living in poverty.

Chairman of Jo Ngay Commune, Huynh Ngoc Thanh said, “We planned to build a suspension bridge in 2004 across the river, but this kind of bridge is unsafe for a wide river like R’lang.”

The authorities of the commune have also considered the construction of a concrete bridge however, they still lack funds as such a bridge would cost many times that of a suspension bridge.

Talking to DTiNews, the local people as well as their leaders all expressed a burning desire for a bridge to connect the river sides. If they have additional fund from kind-hearted donors, they can start this project to make their dream come true.

The following are some photos of crossing river in Phu Mua Village taken by Dantri/DTiNews reporters:

Some sections are neck deep

Books get wet after swimming across the river

Dantri/DTiNews\' Compassionate Hearts Charity Fund are willing to receive supports from both local and foreign readers, agencies and oraganisations to help build a bridge in Phu Mua Village.

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