Hanoi students dismayed about change in school name

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Students and alumni of Hanoi’s most prestigious high school are opposed to changing its name when it moves to new premises on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of the capital city.

However, the school’s management board wrote to the Hanoi Department of Education and Training (DoET) on Friday, agreeing that the Hanoi â€" Amsterdam High School, also known as Ams school, had agreed to be renamed Hanoi High School for the Gifted.

The school, which was established in 1985 with help from Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, is set to move to a new five-hectare headquarters with the city investing over VND1 trillion (US$54.2 million), Nguyen Hiep Thong, chief of DoET office, told local newswire Vietnamnet.

It would be a historic event when the new school opens on the occasion of the city’s 1,000 anniversary this October, Thong said.

It was a modern school completely designed and built by Hanoians, he added.

But students of Ams school, famous for producing outstanding academic performances as well as noticeable achievements at international and national competitions over years, say they find the change of name depressing.

Eleventh-grader Tuan Minh said he and many other students had long nurtured a dream about studying at Ams school.

“I took an entrance exam for getting into Ams school, not any gifted or talent school. So it’s unfair for them to ask me to study at a school that isn’t named Ams.”

“Ams is a brand name. It’s more than a school for the gifted,” said Hong Anh, another student.

Tran Quang Hung, a former Ams student now at the US-based Bowdoin College, told Vietnamnet he had got a scholarship to study abroad party because his school was well known among foreign universities.

Minh, Anh and Hung are not the only ones who have voiced their dismay. Ever since news broke out early this month about the change in name, lots of students and alumni have voiced their opposition at many online forums.

Some even opened a Facebook page with the headline reading “Opposing the change of Hanoi-Amsterdam High School’s name”.

A member of the school management board who wished to stay unnamed said they had no other choice, as the department had only given them two choices. One was that the school as a whole moved to the new headquarters with a new name, or it was divided, with half staying at the old location with the old name, and the other half moving to the new headquarters with a new name.

“If we chose the second way, it would mean that we agreed to dissolve our school, so we chose the first one.”

After Ams moves to the new place, the Nguyen Trai High School will move in to its old site, according to DoET plans.

“It depends on the city, to let Nguyen Trai High School to keep its name or change to another one, but it’s definitely not going to be Hanoi-Amsterdam. We can’t hand over our name to any other school,” another member of the Ams management board said.

Source: Tien Phong

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