Tuyet is 12 years old, has a smile that lights up the room, and in immaculate English articulates that she would one day like to become an English Teacher.
Tuyet’s family live in a small and simple home, with oly one bed for furniture and homegrown vegetables for food. They have experienced considerable hardship after Tuyet’s father suffered an unfortunate accident, leaving him with an intellectual impairment and unable to work. This placed the sole responsibility for supporting the family on Tuyet’s mother who works diligently to cover all of the living costs that she can, but simply cannot afford to pay for the schooling that would enable the children whom she is “very proud of” the chance to complete secondary school and then continue on to university.
However, thanks to a sponsorship covering Tuyet’s next seven years of education, Tuyet will have the chance to become an English teacher (should she still wish to), and it’s safe to say that her parents will have one less thing to worry about!
In Vietnam, the school system is very different from that in the West. Children attend school for four hours in the morning and, if they can afford it, another four hours in the afternoon. One four hour session is at a government school and is fee based. The other four hour sessions are called “extra classes”. These classes are very expensive and taught by teachers in their free time. All classes have large student numbers, so it is survival of the fittest! Those not attending the extra classes have little hope of passing their final year, or even making it to the final year.
Tuyet says that “the scholarship is motivation for my family and I” and that she and her brother “are always good students because we know that education can break the poverty cycle for our family.”