Nursery school on the mountaintop

Thanh Nien News

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Located on the remote Dao Cu Nha mountain is a school of 73 Hmong children.
The kids, 40 of whom are in a nursery class and 33 others in various primary classes, come from Hmong ethnic families living on the mountain in Lao Chai Commune, Mu Cang Chai Dist, Yen Bai Province, which borders China.
 

Hmong children clap their hands during a music session at the kindergarten class of teacher Hang A Chua on top of Dao Cu Nha mountain in Mu Cang Chai District.

Hang A Chua (L) receives 3-year-old Lo A Chinh from his dad, Lo A Su, early one morning. The teacher said one of the biggest challenges in his work is persuading parents to let their kids go to school.

Hang A Chua teaches his students to sing in their 15 sqr.m. wood-walled, dirt-floor classroom.

 Hang A Chua rolls up a sleeve for a boy. "They are like my children, and seeing them grow every day, hearing their laughters and cries, and knowing they are healthy - they make me happy," said the teacher.

 Hang A Chua, who started teaching at this nursery class two years ago, joins his kids for a game outdoor.

Unlike his colleagues in more affluent areas, Chua never receives gifts from the kids' parents on the National Teacher's Day on Nov.20. "As a mountainous teacher, and a person of ethnic minority myself, I know people here live a life of harship too," Chua said. "I hope education will be a key for the children here to escape poverty."
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Photos: The Duyet/Vietnam News Agency

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