Many schools in the central province of Thua Thien - Hue are in dire need of renovation as the facilities are crumbling students and teachers abilities.
Facilities have been seriously degraded
Students and teachers are struggling to focus with the constant distractions of their classrooms degrading state.
At Duong No Primary School, Phu Duong Commune, Phu Vang District, a school recognised as a national standard in 1999, crevices in long stretches run along the ceiling of one corridor, while the cracks in its supporting pillars are now exposing all of its central iron core structure. Most of these pillars have been heavily damaged and could collapse at any time.
For the 12 classrooms not far behind the school gate, both the outer and inner walls have flaked off into pieces along with many severe cracks. In some rooms, the walls are cracked open to a degree that students sitting inside the class can catch a glimpse of the trees outside. Above these rooms are roof tiles so degraded that they could collapse at any given moment posing a risk for both teachers and students.
Student Doan Quoc Dung said, ”Five months ago, I was walking along the corridor towards the toilet when a big stone suddenly fell down half a metre away from me. It made me really scared. Since then, everywhere I go, I always look up to check if there is anything about to fall from the ceiling.”
Tran Thi Ai Linh and her classmatesshared that, “Our school could very easily fall apart. Bits of the ceiling and the walls have been falling off. We get very scared when we are inside our classroom.”
According to Tran Loc, Vice Principal of Duong No Primary School, these 12 classrooms of the school have been degrading for a long time, but due to limited funding, they have not been able to have them repaired. However, because of the amount of students they have, they are unable to place them anywhere else.
Nguyen Hue Senior Secondary School, once regarded as a national standard in 2006, has 10 of its classrooms, built 46 years ago, severely damaged.
Parts of these ceilings have come off exposing the iron inside. For 5 years, the school has hoped for funding to come from the province’s Department of Education and Training, but there has been none. The only solution to fix the damage is to temporarily “stitch up” the walls.
According to students, cement pieces have fallen from the ceilings numerous times. Fortunately no one has been injured. However, teachers and students fear entering the classrooms. Nguyen Hue’s school yard is full of small potholes because of its degraded cement layer, which has caused teachers to trip over many times, disabling them to teach for the whole day.
Quoc Hoc Senior Secondary School, another national standard, has many of its classrooms in desperate need of repair as water keeps leaking down from its roof. The school’s last renovation was over 10 years ago.
Both Nguyen Hue and Quoc Hoc schools have been named in the list “schools in need of investment” of the province’s Department of Education and Training, however, they are still waiting for the funding. Nguyen Duy Han, Manager of the department’s Administrative Planning Division said, “While we’re waiting for our funding, we also hope that compassionate donors and organisations care about us helping our teachers and students to continue their job here without having to worry about the school infrastructure.”
Similarly, Tran Quoc Toan Primary School and Thuan An 1 Primary School have been suffering the same fate with many of their classrooms being seriously degraded and potentially dangerous for teachers and students at the schools.
“Windows in our classrooms are always closed not providing enough natural light for the students. It is because these windows have rotted and would immediately shatter if we opened them. When it rains, the water splashes in from outside, making it very difficult for students to study. The classroom walls have absorbed water over the years and the cracks are now more visible than before, causing great concern for both teachers and students,” Pham Huu Phuoc, Principal of Thuan An 1 Primary School shared.
A rotted pillar.
Another pillar exposing its central iron core structure.
Trees from outside can be spotted through a crack in one classroom.