Gov't funds help 800 students return to school on Vietnam's ravaged central coast

By Duc Hung   September 9, 2016 | 02:18 am PT
Gov't funds help 800 students return to school on Vietnam's ravaged central coast
A class with 6 students in Ha Hai Middle School, Ha Tinh Province on September 6. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Hung
Fishing families have got the support they needed so their kids can go back to school.

The majority of students from Ky Anh Town, one of the areas worst-hit by the recent mass fish deaths in Vietnam's central coast province of Ha Tinh, have returned to school after being stuck at home for the last two weeks, said Phan Duy Vinh, the town's top official.

“Since the new school year started (September 5), more than 750 students have gone back to class,” Vinh said.

Since August 25, fishermen in Ky Ha Commune have been keeping their children at home to put pressure on the government, calling for their children to be exempt from tuition fees and additional costs in the wake of the environmental disaster that ruined their livelihoods.

Some 1,000 of the 1,500 students in the area were absent from the new school year's opening ceremony on September 5.

Parents say that they have been unable to fish or produce salt since waste from Taiwan's Formosa steel plant contaminated a 200 kilometer stretch of Vietnam’s central coast.

“My kids will only go back to school when we've received adequate compensation,” said one fisherman.

In response, authorities in Ky Anh Town have decided to cover all tuition fees and school maintenance costs for those hit by the environmental disaster in an attempt to bring all students back to school.

Dang Quoc Vinh, vice chairman of Ha Tinh's People's Committee, said that every child has a right to education, so provincial authorities are encouraging students not to drop out of school.

Related news:

No fish, no school: 1,000 students forced to stay at home in central Vietnam

Vietnamese fishermen remain beached 4 months after toxic disaster

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