Minors’ End of School Year 2019-2020 Activities Report
Our activities in Viet-Nam are described below,
Constituency, Geographic Area of Minors’ Projects
During this past school year Minors provided support for projects in northern Viet-Nam benefiting more than 22,000 students and 1,000 teachers at schools primarily serving highland ethnic minority children.
These schools serve children from communities comprised of these 23 ethnic groups:
Hmong, Thai, Dzao (Mien), Kinh*, Tay, Kho Mu, Nung, Khang, Lao, Ha Nhi, Giay, Xinh Mun, Muong, Cong, Si La, Xa Pho, Clao, Lo Lo, La Chiu, San Chi, San Diu, Pu Y, Hoa (Chinese), Kho Me.
*As we focus our support normally at schools serving highland ethnic minorities in mountainous areas, the Kinh, or ethnic Vietnamese, are typically way down the list (which is in descending order by student populations served by this grant’s projects) as at these schools there are but a small number of Kinh students who typically are children of teachers posted at the schools.
This grant period, however, support went not only to the schools serving mountain villages, but as well to larger schools in provincial and district towns, as it included the Fast Thermometers which have now been delivered at more than 50 schools in the northwestern mountains.
Benefits Provided by Projects
During this grant period the following projects were implemented providing access to basic necessities, enabling disadvantaged students from the most remote villages to remain in school:
Warm Clothing for Winter
Sweaters were purchased and delivered to 4,000 students at 22 schools in 10 Districts of Dien Bien and Lai Chau provinces
Water System Improvements
Water systems were improved at 5 Schools and 2 Branch Schools in 4 Districts of Dien Bien and Ha Giang Provinces, benefitting 1,600 students and teachers
Sustainable Food Raising
Only 1 Food Raising project was implemented in Dien Bien Province, at a school with 300 students. We had budgeted more for food but these projects are on hold due to schools shutting down last few months, as was the case with biogas projects, both of which need daily care and monitoring, so will resume when students return to school, or in the fall at beginning of new school year.
33 rice scholarships were provided in Dien Bien province. These scholarships are food supplements for the most impoverished children in difficult circumstances.
We were able to deliver another 105 Where There is No Doctor books to schools, as there remain a small number in storage while we awaited opportunity to deliver to schools that did not have the books, but where we have been unable to provide other support until now.
Fast Thermometers were purchased and delivered at 51 Schools in 44 Communes/Wards of 17 Districts/Towns of 5 Provinces. More than 23,500 Students and their Teachers are directly benefitting immediately from these thermometers, map and photos, below.
All education support provided by Minors this school year, according to Project Description, Province, District and Commune, as well as ethnic minority groups receiving each type of support, the local partners, number of beneficiaries and status of the implementation process of each category is shown in the Summary and distribution by item, quantity, cost and by project at each school or orphan and elderly Center is detailed in the Implementation Table.
Summary and Implementation Details: https://www.minorsasia.org/recent-project-details.html
Projects implemented by Minors:
At 80 Schools in 66 Communes/Wards of 18 Districts/Towns in these northern mountainous Provinces of Viet-Nam:
Dien Bien Province -
Dien Bien, Dien Bien Dong, Muong Cha, Tua Chua & Tuan Giao Districts
Ha Giang Province -
Bac Quang, Dong Van, Meo Vac, Xin Man & Yen Minh Districts
Lai Chau Province –
Muong Te, Phong Tho & Sin Ho Districts
Lao Cai Province –
Bac Ha, Sa Pa & Si Ma Cai
Kan Province – (awaiting final reports from districts)
Fast Thermometers Map: We were able to support Covid-19 prevention measures for thousands of children and their families in remote villages near the China border:
The activitiesin this report were between September 2019 through May, 2020. In March of this year we shifted priorities to Covid-19 preventative measures at schools.
Minors’ volunteer staff traveled several hundred kilometers to deliver school support, and with the help of our many local government partners we surveyed, planned and carried out projects at many remote schools during this school year.
This year projects were halted because of the Covid-19 crisis and we were asked by many schools for help in taking preventative measures.
A quick budget change allowed Minors to provide use of current funds for purchase and delivery of fast thermometers to 53 mostly remote schools, (map above) and judging from the initial reaction of the district government officers and school directors and teachers whose schools benefited from this support, we are certain this will be a much sought after item by most if not all of the hundreds of commune center schools we serve in the 5 northern mountainous provinces, as word gets around, as it inevitably does.
Recent photos provided by teachers and local Departments of Education and Training
In Lai Chau Province students patiently await their turn for temperature check on the first day returning to school.
any were kindly delivered for free by a logistics company in Ha Noi.
Thermometers were delivered rapidly and were received by the time school reopened earlier this month.
All schools are providing details of students receiving Minors’ support, and are taking photos of the first day of school. Children are asked if family or village neighbors are ill, and this will be done in the fall when the new school year begins as well. Teachers and their families and families who live near the schools are also being served by these thermometers.
At schools throughout Phong Tho, one of the most impoverished districts in Viet-Nam, students lined up outside the schoolyards to be checked for fevers:
In Ha Giang Province boarding students return from their villages to school after months of shutdown. District offices and school administrators and teachers have sent letters upon receiving this timely assistance, as below. (translations to come)
And in Lao Cai Province this support is also highly appreciated.
Translations of documents and letters of appreciation are being worked on, will be posted.
Translations of documents and letters of appreciation are being worked on, will be posted.
At the very first commune boarding schools we served in the 1990s, above in Son La and Lai Chau provinces, boarding students not only had no tables and chairs on which to eat, they had no individual bowls and only a few spooons which they took turns using, (above left). Slowly things got better, as at the school (above right), where boarders had tables but no chairs, spoons but no bowls.
A decade later it became common for more schools to be able to furnish bowls and spoons or chopsticks to all students, at left in Ha Giang province, and tables and even chairs for some, as at right in Lao Cai
This has pretty much been the way that students have had lunch, eating in individual bowls, but sharing a serving bowl and utensil.
Sharing of eating utensils is now discouraged, but for many schools this is a big problem to overcome.
For students not to share utensils and therefore to help prevent spread of Covid virus, at the request of several schools we have provided trays, left. The individual bowls no longer in use are seen stacked in the background.
Social Distance Dining
Where possible, as in this school which has a lunch / assembly room, tables now are spaced appropriately, photo at left, but it means the children must eat in shifts, as evidenced by the stools stacked in the background, below.
Other schools, more crowded and having to use classrooms for lunch and other available spaces may not have the luxury of eating in shifts. Social Distance remains a problem for the more crowded schools.
One solution when weather is not a problem, half the class eats in place, half outside the teachers’ dormitory.
We are receiving some remarks on government web sites in our project areas and we will post them as translations are complete. Here is the first:
From Dien Bien Provincial Office of Education and Training website:
Support for Covid-19 epidemic prevention equipment
Tuesday - April 7, 2020 17:20
Dienbien.edu.vn - For many years, Minors organization in Vietnam has accompanied in supporting educational units in difficult areas of Dien Bien province with many different programs such as: Supporting investment in installing systems of water supply and clean water tanks, dormitories, providing sweater for highland students in the winter, supporting scholarships, supporting the VAC funds for upland boarding schools ...
These effective supports have helped many educational units to supplement school facilities, maintain the number of students going to school and thereby positively contribute to improving the quality of educational activities in school.
In early 2020, Minors supported the purchase of water tanks at schools in high areas in Tua Chua district. During the peak of the anti-epidemic Covid -19, the Minors organization had a very practical activity of supporting fast thermometer for students in some ethnic minority schools, schools with semi-boarding schools and schools with large number of students of high schools. This device helps the school to quickly, conveniently and accurately check students 'and teachers' temperature when necessary.
Minors will support Dien Bien Province's Education through the Provincial Encouragement Association a total of 15 units and will be provided to schools that the school currently cannot purchase. On March 31, 2020, Minors passed the Provincial Study Encouragement Association granted to 3 schools: Le Quy Don specialized high school, Luong The Vinh high school, and provincial Ethnic boarding school.
Through the use, the schools that have received the equipment affirm the very good machine quality. In the time before the students returned to the school to study, the provincial Study Encouragement Association in collaboration with the Minors organization granted 12 high schools in the province, the number of 01 for each unit.
Author of article: Nguyen Manh Quan