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28/10/2020 - 19:13

‘Lodging’ & Learning in Hue

Since primary school, many parents have sent their children to ‘lodge’ in Huế to attend prestigious schools, such as Nguyen Tri Phuong Junior High School or Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted. In recent times, this trend has seen an increase.

Students taking the 10th-grade entrance exam for Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted. Photo: Huu Phuc

Long ago, students from adjacent provinces moved to Hue to attend Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted. At that time, the landscape of high-quality education in Hue was more vibrant, and the competition for the spot on the national team between students was more fierce.

Afterward, other gifted schools in adjacent provinces received similar funding, leading to a downward trend in sending children to Hue.

In a surprising twist in this year’s recruitment season, more than 300 students from provinces such as Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, and Dak Lak, … traveled to Hue to take the entrance exam to attend gifted schools. Similarly, the number of students applying for Nguyen Tri Phuong Junior High School has increased in local districts. It seems that interest in the two most prestigious schools in Hue has begun to heat up. 

“I remember waiting for my child taking the exam not long ago; that year, the exam schedule for Hung Vuong High School for the Gifted (Gia Lai) did not conflict with Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted’s, so I took him to Hue to take the Advanced English exam. I still prefer my child to study in a gifted school. If he is accepted, I will choose Huế because the studying environment there is a good fit. He will have more opportunities to further his studies and chances to compete with other high-achieving students. Furthermore, Hue is peaceful, and I want him to have that experience,” said Nguyen Bao Anh from Gia Lai.

Many students from rural areas “lodging” in Huế have been accepted to many prestigious universities. Photo: HL

During those days, many parents from various provinces recalled the journey of nurturing their children’s goals to study in Hue. The dream of attending a well-known gifted school has inspired many to persevere.

Most students who lodge have high academic achievements, with many having awards from province-level competitions. More importantly, these students have mentally prepared to live away from home during their teenage years.  

This change can be seen as a positive signal for gifted schools in Hue as they are the preferred choice of students from across the country. As a result, in every recruitment season, the number of students accepted to Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted is over 400, with 40% from rural areas or other provinces. 

Since Nguyen Tri Phuong Junior High School organized the entrance exam and opened the application, parents have considered having their children test their academic abilities at this institute. They are also fond of this high school as it is here that their children can meet students from neighboring countries and be part of clubs to develop holistically.

Therefore, many parents from various districts are preparing long-term plans for their children to lodge in Hue when the school accepts them. Although being self-reliant at an early age might pose some challenges, if their children are willing to dream and are capable of pursuing it, parents are eager to be part of their journey.

Choosing Hue for their children to experience the most beautiful period of their high school years has led parents to look for homestay options carefully. There have been many accounts of students meeting hospitable and friendly hosts, with some willing to reduce rent and provide meals so that students can focus on their studies.

Ho Thi Nhung, currently studying Advanced Literature, from Quang Binh, whose parents are farmers, have lodged in Hue for over two years. Her family provides her with roughly 2 million VND, sufficient for housing, meals, and books costs every month.

“Being away from home has helped me mature and be more self-reliant. I learn to take care of myself and solve my issues. Thankfully, my very kind host welcomes me to her family, so I feel less homesick and more focused on learning,” shared Nhung.

Parents, however, still wish for their children to take residence in dormitories for safety concerns. Along with the lower housing cost and cutting down on travel to zero, students will have more chances to be part of academic clubs on school grounds.

Students will learn and develop in a peaceful area consisting of fourteen 40m2 rooms. Each room will have eight students with living costs averaging at 90,000 VND per month.

Mr. Vo Vinh Hien, a residential advisor at Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted, shared that many less fortunate students rarely see their parents. Students far from home usually return to visit their family once a month, accompanied by specialty treats for the whole village. The greatest joy is when students demonstrate excellent academic capabilities along with compassion towards their struggling peers.

By Hue Thu

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