Ho Chi Minh City’s first high school is now 140 years old

By Le Cong Son , Thanh Nien News

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Just right opposite the Independence Palace, Le Quy Don High School boasts a history that is dated back to 1874.
The school was founded during the French colonialism and was named Collège Indigène (Indigenous College), said Truong Kim Quan, director of the city’s center for preserving historic sites.
It first admitted French children only, but was later opened to Vietnamese with French nationality early in the 20th century. At that time the school was renamed to Chasseloup-Labaut in tribute to the then Minister of the Navy and the Colonies.
In 1954, the school’s name was changed again. It was named after writer and philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Even though it continued to be managed by the French, most of its students were Vietnamese.
It was handed over to Vietnamese staff in 1970, and was renamed as Le Quy Don, one of the most famous scholars in Vietnam’s history.
Over the years, many of the school’s students have become successful in various fields and received national and international recognitions like late cultural scholar Vuong Hong Sen, late musician Trinh Cong Son, and late historian Tran Van Giau.
Late King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk also enrolled in the school when he was 14.

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