Hmong News : Educational Opportunities of Children in the Mountains

Đài Á Châu Tự Do  |   2015-05-10 13:55
Hmong have the highest proportion absent from education at over 23%.  Dr. Le Khanh Tuan, Deputy Director of Financial Pl


Children from ethnic minorities in mountainous areas are disadvantaged than their peers in the delta. Education, too. Especially girls, about their education is secondary.

Hip Her, 26, left school after finishing the 9th grade because parents can not afford school fees for their children. Hip Her ethnic Dao Ba District, Ha Giang Province. Hip Her's family have six siblings, two sons and four daughters. All four children, no one learned the class 9. Even a hip only sister to Grade 5.

Hip Sister recounts:

At that time they also want to go to school but also difficult family and his brother is also in school. Families say their children to school anymore, then they learn to ninth grade, I stay. At grade 9 students, the brother in college, the parents say no more children in school feeding, only feed a child alone tried. My brother now as president in the commune.

She said she loves hip education. Hip sister recalls:

I go to school, where they do not miss school, at school, I try, I do not miss school at all.

Hip said after the school holidays, hip at home to help their parents earn money to support shifting big brother went to college in the "plains". Till the age of 21, she married and 26 years old, she had hugged the two children.

The fate of her hip like two of his sisters and countless young women of the mountain peoples in Vietnam. They often uneducated to hogs or often have to yield to his elder son and the family the chance to advance on the path of education itself.

Ministry of Education and Training Vietnam in September 2014 issued a report, which shows in Vietnam have all more than 1.1 million children aged 4 to 14 years who have never attended school or have dropped out of school risk of dropping out. Associate Professor - Dr. Le Khanh Tuan, Deputy Director of Financial Planning of the Ministry of Education and Training, said the majority of the more than 1.1 million children are the children of the poor sectors, live in remote areas, remote, children of ethnic minorities, disability, child labor or migrant children. The percentage of ethnic minority children have never attended high school. Among them, the ethnic Hmong highest proportion is over 23%.

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A Japanese journalist (P) shooting two boys Hmong today 05.27.2011. AFP photo
There has been no specific figures on the proportion of ethnic minority girls out of school or never attended school is how many teachers Oanh however, had taught school for 20 years in Ha Giang, said that compared to children male, female students more absences. According to Oanh, the majority of girls dropping out of school at the age of access database, ie 13-14 age range. Oanh said:

To level two, the majority of girls in elementary leave much but it also peer only. They also do not like to go to school but they are also "double" much, the children are not aware, I was bored. Either the family again, depends on the family. Families that possible, enabling them to learn better. There are also family and solitary child, anchor people, disadvantaged families, the children have to stay more. Basically to level two, the men and women stay more. In 15 years that they have at home, not wanting to go to school.

According to UNICEF, only 60% of ethnic minority children complete primary school compared to 86% of Kinh children. The percentage of children attending secondary school in ethnic minorities is 65% while the rate among children was almost 82% Kinh.

Poverty and bad practices

Dr. Nguyen Tu Feng, an expert on education in Vietnam, said that the poverty and bad practices are the major causes hindering the children belonging to ethnic minorities to school. This in turn affects girls more than boys. Most of the girls even while going to school had to help the family in housework, even shifting.

According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, people from ethnic minorities often live in the mountains, and they are the ones who benefit the least from economic growth in recent years. The poverty rate in the ethnic minority figures remain nearly 50% compared with 8.5% of the Kinh. Because of the high cost of education, up almost a third of all households have an ethnic minority children leave school before the end of a grade school, while this percentage in the Kinh families was 16%.

A parent in Ha Lang minorities in Kon Tum, said:

Now the family would love for me to go to school to school, but there is no such problem before. Now that so many excluded all local, unlike brother Kinh, very difficult, needy every surface. Because of that, so the children do not attend school because of the books and pay for other schools and the local brothers should not be eligible for the child to school.

And so, the girls like her hip at the top posts are the most disadvantaged. Oanh said her teacher:

The sister at home, they have to work a lot, so much as to leave school to go cut the grass, then stay home with children, then the cultivation season, then they have to leave school to go erratic help parents. Son is still to be done but which are priorities somewhat. The girls must stay home with children for parents to work with her. Because people usually work from 8-9 hours to 3-4 hours on. They dine right in the girls must rely on parents as a baby sitter. Then comes the cultivation season, the children in grades 4, grade 5 must go cut grass cow, buffalo grass, take extra parent for cultivation.

In addition to school holidays to help the family, another reason that girls are not in school anymore as child marriage issue. VTV led a survey earlier this year in 10 communes in Lao Cao showed, up to 100 pairs of marriage, accounted for more than 63% of the population here. Particularly in Bac Ha, Lao Can, child marriage occurs in 15 out of 21 communes and towns. The age of marriage of ethnicity here is from 14 to 17 years old. There are even cases of girls in grade 5, about 13 years old, has left school got married.

Oanh said her teacher:

Rural areas also have marriage but still less than the uplands. Ha Giang region is much higher, generally children under the age of child marriage registered so far. To mobilize [attendance] was not going to school anymore evasion, to grant two athletes who have to like that, a lot of exercise. Because that's the main breadwinner in the family, then, one is in the making, the two are married daughters. Sometimes beyond 30 they had kids and did.

There are many non-governmental organizations to help women like her hip apprentices. Her hip was also held such a celebration apprenticed in Hanoi hotel. Currently she has completed but the project of the organization on the budget runs out, so she said while waiting for his hip, she went further shifting.
For the full sourced article, click here.

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