Literacy class makes Mong ethnic people’s lives easier

(VOVWORLD) - A literacy class jointly run by the police, social organizations, and the local administration has helped Mong ethnic families in Lung Sap hamlet, Quang Hoa district, Cao Bang province, learn to read and write.

Literacy class makes Mong ethnic people’s lives easier  - ảnh 1Police officers and soldiers of Quang Hoa district in Cao Bang carry tables, chairs, blackboards, and notebooks to the literacy class in Lung Sap. (Photo: VOV)

Despite drizzle and strong chilly winds, the sounds of people spelling words and laughing can be heard in the small house of Phung Van Linh of Lung Sap hamlet, Cao Bang province.

Because of his family's extreme poverty, Linh never attended school. As soon as he heard that the local Party Committee and government were looking for a place to hold a literacy class for the local villagers, he volunteered the use of his house.

“When I was little, my parents wouldn’t allow me to go school. When we heard that a literacy class was being started, the people in my village were very happy. Now I can write my name and many other words,” said Linh.

Hoang Van May, who was also born into a poor family, had to start working for a living early in his life. Now, at the age of 25, May remains illiterate. So when a literacy class began in his hamlet, he was determined to participate.

Although the class is far from where he works, he shows up early for each class and is one of the hardest-working students there. May said his dream is simple.

"I’m very glad the local government opened a class for illiterate people. Teachers and government officials come to teach us, and now we’ve learned basic reading and writing. Once you’re literate, you can take the exam for a motorbike license,” said May.

Literacy class makes Mong ethnic people’s lives easier  - ảnh 2The literacy class is held at the house of Phung Van Linh. (Photo: VOV)

The 12 Mong families live isolated high up in the hills in Lung Sap. Due to their poverty and isolation, they were easily persuaded by hostile forces to oppose and defame the government.

At the end of last year, the literacy class was begun in Lung Sap by the Quang Hoa district police, local authorities, and several social organizations. Chalk, chalkboards, and notebooks were brought to the hamlet, and police officers and public officials have taken turns teaching the class.

Major Vu Tran Chinh, deputy chief of the Quang Hoa district police, said, "The district police have persuaded people to overcome their inferiority complex and join the literacy class. We want the local ethnic people to raise their awareness and stop being influenced by hostile forces."

The literacy class in Lung Sap hamlet is held in the evening every Monday through Thursday. It was difficult at first because the local Mong were used to working late in the fields, and many felt they were too old to go to school. But through persistent efforts, and the good example of enthusiastic students like Linh and May, other Mong people were persuaded to attend the class.

Nguyen Dai Thang, Deputy Head of the Communications and Education Department of the Quang Hoa district Party Committee, who is one of the teachers, said the curriculum and lessons are based on the specific needs of the students.

The villagers have now learned basic reading and writing skills, said Thang, adding, “The people have never attended school, so their spelling skills and vocabulary are quite limited.  We do an exchange. We teach them Vietnamese and they teach us the Mong language.”

Their eagerness to learn is commendable, said Thang, “Following windy, rainy days when it’s impossible for them to come to class, they ask the teachers to reschedule the lessons because they don’t want to miss anything.”

Lieutenant Be Truong Giang, a police officer of Quang Hoa district, Cao Bang province, says some of them have to come more than 3 km on hilly roads to get to class. When it rains, they have to walk instead of riding their motorbike.

“I feel very honored to work with local officials to conduct the literacy class in Lung Sap hamlet. Seeing people learn new words every day motivates us to keep teaching and making their lives better," said Giang.

The Mong people in Lung Sap can now read and write, and have signed a pledge not to follow hostile forces. Thanks to the literacy class, they can now take advantage of more advanced farming methods and start escaping their poverty and backwardness.