Expanding a secondary school in Vietnam

This project aimed to improve the quality of education at Van Han Lower Secondary School, extending and renovating classrooms and improving outdoor space so that the school could properly accommodate more than 500 children from the surrounding villages.

Building Futures

The need

Like many schools in rural Vietnam, the lower secondary school in Van Han Commune, Dong Hy district in Thai Nguyen province simply didn’t have enough classrooms for the number of pupils. This meant the school ran a shift system, with half of the pupils attending in the morning and half in the afternoon. There was no time for outdoor activities and classroom facilities were in a poor condition. Rundown facilities were contributing to a drop-out rate of 8%, and 80% of the students gained only average or weak academic results.

What we achieved

Study Group’s Building Futures project, managed by the experienced NGO, Plan International, involved the construction of ten new classrooms. The aim was to improve not only the learning environment of the school, improving the quality of learning for the pupils, but also to promote outdoor activities by creating an environment whereby children can develop both physically and mentally.

The impact

Completed in June 2010, improvement of the physical facilities means that lessons are no longer conducted in two sessions. Afternoons can be used for outdoor activities, such as exercises, sport and games, that support the physical development of the students. In addition, supplementary teaching can be provided to those whose learning abilities are weaker, which helps them develop further. Since the completion of the project, enrolment numbers have increased from 453 to 541.

The new solid school buildings also provide protection for students and teachers from natural disasters such as strong storms and heavy rains.

With this school construction, our dream of a school in which our children can learn properly is coming true. Thanks so much to Plan and Study Group.

An elderly villager