A Kâm and his wife Y Thoa have been running free classes for about 30-40 poor children for more than five years in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum.
|A Kâm at his free class for poor children in Đăk Rơ Wa Commune’s Kon Ktu Village, the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum. — Photo thanhnien.vn|
The two-hour classes run from Monday to Friday every week, teaching local children aged from 6 to 14 maths, literature and English.
Y Thoan, 27, said she and her husband had to work on the field in the daytime, so, the class could only begin at 5pm and finish at 7pm.
The couple graduated from the Kon Tum Pedagogy College in 2014, but they failed to find a job at local schools. They had to earn a living from farming, A Kâm said.
However, they still had the desire to teach children, he said.
Back in 2014, A Kâm saw children from his village playing near his house with no interest in studying, so he came up with the ides of opening a free class for them.
He knocked on the doors of every house in the village to persuade parents to send their children to his class.
His request was initially met with indifference. The villagers had no money to support his idea, so it was extremely difficult, he said.
But he did not feel discouraged, and instead tried to talk with the children about the class, Thanh Niên (Young People) online newspaper reported.
Nevertheless, the children told him the class was not as interesting as the bird’s nests in the mountains or catching fish in the stream, he said.
“They rejected my offer,” he said.
But he did not give up, and started thinking of ways to encourage the children to go to his class. His wife, Y Thoan, suggested buying sweets to tempt the children to go the class.
It was really effective, he said.
Difficulties and simple joy
On the first day, 30 children turned up for class. A Kâm and his wife divided them into small age groups to teach.
However, the small house could not accommodate 30 children. The children had to sit in the small yard in front of his house without a roof.
Whenever it rained, the class was suspended, he said.
Later, a kind-hearted person donated tables, chairs, boards and a roof for the class.
A Kâm said he wanted save money to expand the classroom so the children could study in comfort.
Y Thoan said she and her husband had to work in the fields in the daytime, then return home at 5pm to teach the children.
The couple often eat instant noodles for dinner after the class has ended.
“It’s hard but we feel very happy,” she said.
They enjoyed every moments of being teachers, she said.
Y Thoan said some children gave her bouquets of wild flowers, while others brought fish they had caught in a local stream to celebrate Vietnamese Teachers' Day last year.
“It really touches me,” she added.
A Kâm said he would never forget the moment all the children in his class sang happy birthday to him on February 20 last year.
They also brought a small cake to celebrate, he said.
“It was one of the most wonderful surprises in my life,” he said.
It is estimated that about 300 children have taken free classes for over the past five years. VNS
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