|Caption: Students of Lương Thế Vinh High School in the Mekong Delta province of Bến Tre grow clean vegetables in the schoolyard. — VNA/VNS Photo Phúc Hậu|
Phan Thị Kim Thanh, a teacher at the school who manages the student-farmers, said: “The school has just been opened. There is an empty yard and the school decided students can use it to grow clean vegetables.”
“Three student groups grow green vegetables and one group grows vegetable sprouts.”
They harvest 30-50 kilogrammes of clean vegetables a month, which they sell to teachers and their own families and supply to the school canteen to cook for semi-boarding students.
The vegetables grown are onion, green cabbage, water morning glory, and Malabar spinach.
The sale proceeds are divided equally among the members after a portion is donated to support the school’s disadvantaged students.
Nguyễn Thị Thúy Nhi, a member of the group growing sprouts, said she and her five schoolmates were very happy to use their free time to grow vegetables.
Her group harvests around two kilogrammes a day, and each member has received around VNĐ200,000 (US$8.8) as a share of the profits over the five months since they began.
Nhi said growing vegetables is a way to put the knowledge they acquired in class to use, and she also grows clean vegetables at home and helps neighbours do the same.
Nguyễn Văn Cảnh, a member of one of the other groups, said the work of turning over the soil and watering vegetables relaxes him and keeps him healthy.
His family was very surprised when he brought a bunch of green cabbage when he returned from school one day.
They thought he had bought the vegetable at the local market, and were very happy when they learnt he had grown them with his own hands.
The school is now soliciting donations to build a net house and set up a system of growing hydroponic vegetables on an area of more than 200sq.m in its yard.
It plans to find buyers for the vegetables to enable steady output and profits.
Đồng Thị Thuận, the school headmistress, said growing vegetables is a healthy activity for students after school hours.
It also helps them acquire real-life experience to knowledge of how to start a business, she said. — VNS