Free Exclusive School for Poor Children in Saigon

Free Exclusive School for Poor Children in Saigon


Hoang Trong Khanh, a pharmaceutical employee in Saigon has been providing free classes dedicated for less fortunate children for 10 years now.

Every night after work, Khanh is seen at Street 22, Phuoc Long B ward, District 9 offering his free teaching services to around 50 students for 6th – 9th graders. His class starts from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM which he splits into two sessions teaching math, physics, chemistry, literature and English. The class is housed in a 30 sqm room which for some may not be enough, however, serves as a gleam of hope for factory worker’s children. 

Khanh is not a teacher by profession, he works at a pharmaceutical firm for animal medicines. And for most of his classes, he wears the same work clothes due to lack of time. 

According to him, he started with only a few students. Studying at an empty lot until the locals helped with building a temporary shelter for the class. 

In the last three years, Khanh managed to secure an actual place for residency and teaching. Moved by Khanh’s compassion and purpose, the landlord granted him rent for just $130 a month. 

Ngoc Phuong – one of Khanh’s 9th grader students said most of her teachers say she is a slow learner. However, after taking Khanh’s classes, she managed to gain excellent student recognition for three consecutive years. 

Khanh funds the basic needs of his self-established school from chairs, tables, pens and board. Despite the absence of latest equipment like computers and projectors, Khanh makes use of whatever is available and within reach. He uses his own phone to show his class illustrations and videos too!

Growing up, Khanh wasn’t fortunate enough to have a formal education. But his adversities never hindered him to reach his goal and sought the aid of other teachers to impart their knowledge on the basics of teaching. Khanh says the most difficult subject for him is English because he is personally not good with it. On the other hand, he already has the foundation to teach the other subjects while following the guidelines of the ministry of education’s curriculum. Using practical examples and humour to effectively teach his students.

He connects with his students by creating a relaxed and joyful atmosphere -making him more approachable as a teacher, removing any signs of stigma between him and his students. When some of his students ran out of school materials to use, he provided some notebooks for them to write on. Once a month, Khanh would treat the students for some snacks from his own pocket; last month, he purchased 30 bubble teacups for his students to enjoy prior to starting the class.

After class finishes at 9:15 PM, Khanh stays to go over lesson plans and check student tests for grading. 

At day time, he works at the pharmaceutical firm just two kilometers away from his apartment – a company he has been working with for the past decade. Despite how hectic his days go, Khanh has all the time he can balance for work, leisure and teaching as he is still single. His leisure time is spent feeding and caring for his chickens in the basement of his own apartment. 

Khanh earns around 6,000,000 VND each month which he spreads thinly for his needs and maintaining the school. With no pretences and complaints, his only happiness is to see his students progress in learning and grow to become respectable public citizens one day.

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