While most students nationwide are eagerly preparing for the new academic year, which will officially start next month, many children in flood-stricken areas will struggle to return to school.
Pù Nhìn secondary school in central Thanh Hoá Province was damaged by recent floods. Photo tuoitre.vn
In southern Cà Mau Province, more than 1,100 students are in dire need of textbooks, notebooks and new clothes for the academic year after recent heavy rain, whirlwinds and floods destroyed their homes and swept away their school supplies.
Chairman of the People’s Committee of U Minh District’s Khánh Hội Commune, Huỳnh Hoàng Tương, told Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper that many students in his commune needed help to be able to go to school. “They need textbooks, notebooks, bags and means of transport to go to schools,” he said.
Chairman of the People’s Committee of Khánh Bình Tây Commune in Trần Văn Thời District, Đoàn Chí Tâm, said parents of many students were very worried because they could not afford school supplies for their kids. Local authorities are calling for social support to help local students.
Recent floods seriously damaged many houses and schools and swept away supplies of students in central Thanh Hóa Province.
In the province’s Quan Sơn District, rain and flooding earlier this month damaged 10 schools, including five kindergartens, three primary schools, one secondary school and one high school. A kindergarten in Na Mèo Commune was completely destroyed.
In Mường Lát District, where nine schools were damaged by recent floods, local people are working to clean up the buildings.
Cultural houses of villages and communes are now used as temporary classes for children of kindergartens that were seriously damaged.
Nguyễn Thị Dược, 15, told the Voice of Việtnam (VOV) online newspaper that floods swept away her family’s house. “The new academic year is approaching but I do not know how or where to start,” she said.
“Nothing is left. The flood swept away everything. I have no textbooks, notebooks or any school supplies,” she said.
Lang Văn Long, a teacher of a school in Mường Lát District, told Giáo dục Việt Nam (Vietnam Education) online newspaper, that it was just 25km from the centre of the district to the school but it took teachers half a day to reach the school.
“The road was completely destroyed by the flooding. We had to take a muddy footpath to go to the school. There are sections where we had to use wooden planks to carry our motorbikes,” he said.
Another teacher, Vi Văn Thanh, said nothing was left at the school, except for mud. “All of the tables and chairs were swept away,” he said.
Head of the Quan Sơn District’s Education and Training Office, Lê Đình Xuân, said it had suggested local authorities use houses of local residents as temporary classrooms for the students while waiting for further support.
Teachers, parents and local authorities are working together to clean classrooms and schools so the students can start the new school year.
After visiting the district’s Sa Ná Village – one of the areas hardest hit by floods – to check flood damage earlier this month, Politburo member Phạm Minh Chính, who is head of the Party Central Committee's Organisation Commission, asked local authorities to assign temporary places for local students to study and build two new schools.
Heavy rain and floods triggered by storm Wipha earlier this month claimed 10 lives in northern and northern central provinces. Thanh Hóa Province was hardest hit with five deaths, nine missing and five injured. More than 1,100 residents were evacuated from areas at high risks of landslides and flash floods. Total property damage is estimated at around VNĐ136 billion (US$5.8 million). VNS