Mountainous school builds fire to help kids survive freezing winter

Thanh Nien News

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Children keep their hands warm around a bonfire at a boarding school in Son La. Photos: Ngoc Tan/Zing Children keep their hands warm around a bonfire at a boarding school in Son La. Photos: Ngoc Tan/Zing

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Vietnam’s northern highlands is in its coldest time of the year and many primary school children are still going to school in thin clothes, bare heads and some even without sandals.
Teachers at a boarding school in Son La, one of the country’s poorest provinces, have to burn a bonfire at a corner of the classroom to help their children survive the cold of six degrees Celsius. Some mountain tops in the region are covered in snow.
They sit there, chanting math formulas and readings from the old books which were either donated to them or passed down from their elder siblings.
 It's not easy for this girl to read her book and keep warm at the same time as the smoke keeps getting into her eyes.
Children in the area usually have the cold season off but they cannot walk kilometers home and they are not allowed to set up a fireplace at their boarding tents for safety reason.
“We have blankets there but it’s not warm enough. Here our teachers make us big warm fire,” a student said, as cited by Zing.
One teacher said she has contacted a charity group to bring some coats to the children but it still needs the permit from local authorities to come.
Children gather at a corner at a classroom in Son La. 
Video credit: Zing.vn

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