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Saigon's Remote Can Gio Island Gets First-Ever High School Class

Students who wished to complete high school on Saigon’s Thanh An Island will not have to travel to the mainland now that a high school class has been established right in their neighborhood.

Located in the southern hub’s Can Gio District, Thanh An Island is a remote commune that is home to some 5,000 residents, according to Bao Binh Phuoc. To get to Thanh An, you have to take a 45-minute boat ride across the sea.

Due to the commune’s small population, the island only houses a primary school and a secondary school, but no high school. Local children who have completed their secondary school education are usually faced with a dilemma: either quit school, or move to mainland Can Gio to attend Can Thanh High School, which provides students with boarding if needed, reports VnExpress.

However, the situation recently changed for Thanh An’s high schoolers, as a class of 28 has been set up on the secondary school campus, catering specifically to local students. Teachers from Can Thanh High School have agreed to travel every day to the island to give lessons.

“I will have to go to work earlier and go home later, but it is actually good for my students,” Nguyen Dien Tin, a math teacher told the news source. “Before, I have seen many students from Thanh An Island quit high school, at least four to five students every year. The reasons were mostly that they could not keep traveling to the mainland to study, or their parents were too poor to support them living away from home.”

From left to right: math teacher Nguyen Dien Tin during a lesson and 10th grader Bui Nguyen Hoai Son outside of his classroom. Photos via VnExpress.

High school students of the island are undoubtedly happy to not have to make the 45-minute trek to the mainland. For Bui Nguyen Hoai Son, a 10th-grader in the island’s inaugural high school class, a class in the vicinity means that his mom won’t have to pack lunch for him every day.

“My elder sister had to live away from our family in a dorm in her high school years,” Son shared with VnExpress. “I remember my mom had to cook meals for her every day, then packed them and sent them by boat to the mainland. Now she doesn’t have to do that as I can study on our island. In the future, I want to become a history teacher, I just love that subject."

According to Dan Tri, the new class was part of an effort by the Ministry of Education and Training to provide island kids with an equal chance to acquire higher education. The scheme was started in May after the Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City’s Party Committee, Dinh La Thang, paid the island a visit.

[Photo via Dan Tri]

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