Glimpse Inside a Vietnam Elementary School Classroom




Glimpse Inside a Vietnam Elementary School Classroom


On my recent trip to Vietnam, I wanted to capture the daily life of the Vietnamese in a way people elsewhere could relate and understand. I sought out people working, shopping, dining…people conducting their normal day to day chores. One of the things at the top of my list was to visit a school and observe children in a classroom.


In the rural mountainous region northwest of Hanoi, there are several indigenous tribes of Vietnamese. The tribesmen live, work, and socialize with their own members. Until recently, members only married people from their own tribe as well. One of the most interesting things is that the majority of the tribe members only speak their own language – not even Vietnamese.


The first grade class I visited was in an elementary school with a couple hundred students. The class had about 20 students and much like the USA, they learn different courses of study from the same teacher. While I was there, the instructor was teaching the children the Vietnamese alphabet and later, Math. Soon after, they took a recess and joined all the other classes for exercises exercises in the school courtyard!


I spent about 20 minutes in the classroom and a few more minutes during recess and took as many images as I could without totally being disruptive. Six and 7 year olds, an unknown Caucasian with a large camera…well, you probably know the rest of the story!


You decide how different or similar it is to first grade students in the USA. I’m eager to hear your comments!


Many thanks to Jewel Tours ( who organized and planned my trip to Vietnam. Many of the unique experiences, including visiting this elementary school, would not have been possible without their planning and assistance. I highly recommend Jew Tours if you’re planning a visit to Vietnam. They made a great trip an unbelievable experience!