PA Team 10 – 2011 TripPosted on November 2nd, 2011.
October 26th, 2011
Nam Mon Primary School
This morning we made the “not for the weak” van ride
up the mountain to visit the Nam Mon Primary School. Nam Mon Primary School is one of the schools that GVI began partnering with two years ago. Even though this is only my first trip, I have often heard about all the work that had been done on past visits. What awaited us though was so much more than I ever could have imagined! This facility has been transformed from it’s below standard status into a model school in the two short years GVI has partnered with them. It has also been granted the very hard to achieve rating of “Government Status” by the Vietnamese officials.
In a show of gratitude to GVI and the teams that have worked so hard to assist with this transformation, the school’s principle presented Vicky Scott with a letter conveying the heartfelt thanks from the staff as well as the children of the school. After the tea and ceremony, we were all given a tour of the facility and a surprise “flash mob” concert from the children of the school (picture above).
During the tour, I was very surprised to learn that of the 100 or so children that attend the school, about 65 actually live there full-time in dormitories located at the school. They do this because their homes and villages are just too far away from the school to make the daily trip.
As you can imagine, the decision to send a child away each week to school would be very hard for any parent, but even more so for those here in Vietnam. The task of convincing a parent to even consider sending their children to school is not an easy one. Not only must the parent have trust that their children will be safe while away from them, they must also consider the financial impact of losing a hard worker from their farm. All of this, combined with a rural farming village culture which doesn’t hold much value in formal education makes the chances of children attending fairly low. This is why it is imperative that these schools strive to be above average standards.
In two years this school has gone from this:
More importantly is the fact that both the staff and the students now take so much pride in their school! They have indeed been very good stewards of the money and sweat investments that GVI and many of you have contributed. There is no doubt that this very important work will positively impact this area, this country, and our world for many generations to come! What a great example of Syner-GVI!
for us was the middle school that many Northwood and GVI volunteers have invested in. The staff and students are very grateful for the computer lab that was installed last year as well as the paving of the school yard.
we went to yet another school here in the area to teach English to the students. The teachers became the students as well as they observed the different teaching methods that were demonstrated by the wonderful group of GVI volunteer teachers.
During the lessons, students could earn chips for correct answers that they can use to buy things in the “market” that we set up for them. All of us were asked to bring different school supplies, trinkets and little toys for the kids to purchase with their chips.
Lessons we learned from the Market:
- Post a “No Bargaining Allowed” sign. Market bargaining is a skill learned very early here, and we were clearly out skilled!
- Colored markers=Yes, Colored pencils=No
Lessons the children learned from the Market:
- Americans don’t know how to bargain.
- There is a big difference between a glue stick and chap stick.
Stay tuned for more!