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Students Need Their Sleepy-Sleepy Time

Renowned for their love of sleepy-sleepy time and the obligatory after lunch snoozes, Vietnamese parents are once again up in arms at the hours of a normal school day.

Traditionally starting between 6:45 and 7:00, with schools shutting their gates promptly and refusing entry to late comers, parents are complaining that their children have to rise at 5:30 or 6:00 if they are to wash, dress and eat breakfast before they leave for school.

With many students not getting to bed before 23:00, after struggling with an enormous amount of homework each evening, they are starting the day tired and sluggish and unable to concentrate in class.

One mother, Ngoan Tu, complained to Tuoi Tre that she must wake her child at 6:00 every morning as their school closes its gate at 7:00 sharp.

“He normally spends ten minutes in bed,” Tu said, “and it often takes him another 30 minutes to brush his teeth, have breakfast, and put his school uniform on”.

They start off at 6:45 every day in a hurry; if they’re late, her child will be left outside the school gate, she said.

Fed up with the current situation, parents are arguing that classes should start at 7:30 or even as late as 8:00 so their children can sleep a little longer and start the day refreshed.

“Why do we force them to start so early?” Vo Minh Doan, a father of two elementary children, demands. “Every morning is a crazy scramble; kids should be more relaxed and suffer less from lack of sleep.”

A doctor has told Tuoi Tre that school hours in Vietnam are set in an “unscientific” manner and cause a lot of stress for students.

Luong Le Hoang, from the Ho Chi Minh City-based Center for the Treatment of High-Pressure Oxygen, said that lack of sleep can harm one’s intelligence and physical wellbeing. “It would be better to be illiterate than to harm our health this way,” Hoang said. 

[Tuoi Tre // Photo via mrehan]

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