When the drum sounds to signal break time, hundreds of students at Ky Xuan Primary School flock to the school yard which looks like a green park.
|Students can play and read books under the cool shade of trees during their break time. — Photo tuoitre.vn|
Located in Ky Anh District in the central province of Ha Tinh, it has 100-year-old bodhi, African mahogany and Indian almond trees that provide shade.
Just 10 years ago, the school had only 10 simple classrooms located on the arid land.
Nguyen Thi Hoa Hue, the new principal of the school, questioned herself: “How can we improve teaching and studying quality on this poor land?”
That led to the first initiative. “Firstly, we should upgrade infrastructure to create a friendly learning atmosphere, then we can enhance teaching and studying quality,” Hue said to herself.
Hue’s most difficult job was to choose suitable trees for the campus. Local residents advised her to plant African mahogany, Indian almond and areca.
Then teachers called for parents and local residents to donate trees for the school.
“At first I hesitated to call for contributions from local residents, but then I thought how it could invest in future generations,” said Hue.
Moved by the teacher's love, parents encouraged each other to bring trees, soil and rocks to the school. Some of them even donated books and televisions.
One local turned down offers of VND4-5 million (US$170-210) for her trees and instead sold them for VND500,000-700,000 ($20-30) each to the school.
“Local residents are poor, but everyone agreed to invest in the children’s studies,” said Hue.
They contributed VND50 million ($2,170), and Hue used all the money effectively.
“That’s why residents totally believe in the school,” said Hue.
After planting the trees, teachers upgraded the school campus and built areas for students to sit and read books.
Ky Xuan Primary School now covers 17,000sq.m and stands out like a green oasis in the arid land.
Thanks to the efforts of teachers, parents and students, the school’s reputation has spread.
Every year, the school received hundreds of delegations looking to learn from the green atmosphere.
At 10am, Nguyen Thi Hoa, a mother, waters each tree and flower in the school yard.
Hoa said parents whose children were studying at the school had made it their responsibility.
“We volunteer to work. Since Hue became principal here, the school has developed we are very happy,” she said.
Ho Cao Dan, a fifth grader, said: “Together we take care of the trees and stop them from being damaged so we have a green atmosphere to live in.”
"Each person contributes a little, but that amounts to a lot," she said.