Sharing vision - Bringing Empowerment

Student to school

  • Perform: Loan Nguyen, English translation by Hoang Duc
  • 19/11/2021

The war has passed for many years, but the Orange Agent pain is still present, leaving a legacy both physically and mentally for generations. We thought that my family had escaped that "curse" when my parents and siblings grew up healthy. But unexpectedly, the Orange Agent legacy called my name - the youngest grandson of my grandfather, a veteran of battlefield B before 1973.

I started to have "severe" problems with my bones and joints when I was 10 years old, my left hand could not move normally, my joints were also swollen, aches and pains made it very difficult for me to move and walk. But those things couldn't extinguish my dream of going to school. The road was bumpy, muddy in the rainy season, the sun burned the flesh of the sunny land, the pain whenever the wind turned the sky could not stop my footsteps to go to school, to the future that I always hoped for. Knowing that their daughter was eager to learn, with a few poles and small burdens, even though poor, my parents also tried to take care of me to study to the destination. The day I received my exam results at the social university, my whole family broke down in happiness. Then the joy momentarily gives way to the thoughts. The hands of the parents were lumpier because they had to go to hand out more, sunken their eyes deeper because those nights to catch more eels and fish for the early morning mother to bring to the market to sell. It's all about taking care of my upcoming student life, because it's going to cost a lot. Eventually, my parents decided to open a family restaurant from the little money accumulated over the years and borrowed more from neighbors in hopes of taking care of me to study successfully.

My student life seemed to go smoothly when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. The small neighborhood that is not very bustling is now more spent by having to implement social distancing measures. The restaurant was closed, which meant my family lost their main income. Since the end of 2020, I have also had to study online under the government policy. The old smartphone used to find materials in the previous school years has become  "rickety", unable to run learning software. The epidemic was increasingly stressful, erratic, so online learning continues forever. There weren’t any other ways, the property in the house including a few chickens, the pig which was for my brother to get married also had to sell to take care of my equipment for my education. A table was placed in the garden, a computer was purchased in installments, wi-fi connections from the neighbors were all my luggage at the time. Although I was in need, there had been the sacrifice and love of all my family members for my education.

After a long time , it seemed as if everything would return to normal, the 4th Covid-19 epidemic came very quickly, causing ordinary workers like my family to suffer. My brother and sister who worked in the industrial park were laid off without pay, the small diner had to stop operating. The income was not available, the savings must eventually be pulled out to cover daily expenses. Sometimes, we had to borrow from the neighbors. A new school year came, the economic pressure was so large that I wanted to take a year off school so as not to add to the burden on my family. But the whole family was determined not to allow, my parents said that even if they had to sell the last iron pot, they would do it so that I can continue my study. I rushed to look for different scholarships but there hadn’t been much positive results.

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Fortunately, near the back-to-school date, the Decree on tuition fee reduction and exemption policies was issued, and especially from this academic year, students with disabilities like me are subjected to tuition exemption. However, the cost of living is still a burden for the whole family, as my parents and siblings are unemployed and have no other income. We considered finding loans, but the issue of mortgages and interest payments made us falter. While struggling to know how, I confided in my academic advisor, who has always cared for, encouraged and helped me in the past. She informed me about the student loan policy. This policy I have heard of, but the loan conditions must be for poor and disadvantaged students,... Furthermore, during the separation period, it is impossible to go to school to ask for confirmation. Understanding my concerns, she shared: "Currently, the state has a policy to create conditions for disadvantaged students to borrow preferential loans at the social policy bank, the school will also create conditions and support them as much as possible." She told me to meet with the head of the local Savings and Loan Team to ask for detailed procedures. Her words were like a rain shower after sunny days, giving hope to my family in this pandemic.

As "finding the light at the end of the tunnel", my family was excited to go to the house of the village's Head of Savings and Borrowing and was given specific instructions on the conditions, loan methods, loan levels as well as the process of loan procedures enthusiastically. He also gave us the email address of the district social policy bank. Shortly thereafter, I contacted the school and was confirmed by the teachers, sending a scan of the Certificate to the email box of the District Social Policy Bank and my mailbox. With these documents, I can take out the loan procedure in advance, the original will be supplemented after I go to school in person. Procedures for reviewing, confirming, making lists, checking and approving loan conditions at the Savings Group and the Policy Bank are also carried out quickly. Earlier this month, my student loan was reviewed with a loan of VND 2,500,000 per month (VND 25,000,000 per academic year), an interest rate of 0.55% per month and disbursement of the first semester of this academic year through transfer.

This money helped to share some of the worries about living expenses, studying expenses for me and my family, adding confidence for disadvantaged students like me to pursue the path of education, nurturing dreams to build the future.

The student loan program (STUDENTS) is implemented in accordance with the Prime Minister's Decision No. 157/2007/QD-TTg  dated September 27, 2007, on credit for students and some related documents such as the Prime Minister's Decision No. 750/QD-TTg dated June 1, 2015, on adjusting the reduction of lending interest rates for some policy credit programs at the Main Bank. Social books ( SBV),  Decision No. 1656/QD-TTg  dated November 19, 2019 of the Prime Minister on adjusting the lending level for STUDENTS,...

In particular, for students, the family has financial difficulties due to the epidemic during the study period is carried out as follows:

- Borrowers (Clause 3, Article 2 of Decision No. 157/2007/QD-TTg):

"3. STUDENTS whose family has financial difficulties due to accidents, diseases, natural disasters, fires and epidemics during their studies is certified by the People's Committees of communes, wards and towns where they reside."

- Conditions for borrowing (Article 4 of Decision No. 157/2007/QD-TTg):

"1. STUDENTS is living in a household lawfully residing in the locality where the lender meets the criteria specified in Article 2 of this Decision.

2. For first-year STUDENTS, a certificate of admission or a certificate of admission from the school must be issued.

3. For STUDENTS from the second year onwards, the school must have a confirmation of being attended at the school and not be administratively sanctioned or higher for acts such as gambling, addiction, theft, smuggling."

- Loan level (Article 1 of Decision No. 1656/QD-TTg): Maximum is VND 2,500,000/month/student.

- Lending interest rate (Article 1 of Decision No. 750/QD-TTg): The current lending interest rate is 6.6% per year (0.55%/month). The deduced debt interest rate is calculated as 130% of the interest rate on lending.

- Loan procedures:

+ The borrower writes a loan request (according to the printed form issued by the bank) with the certificate of the school or the admission certificate of STUDENTS to the Savings and Loan Team.

+ The Savings and Loan Team shall check the conditions as prescribed, make a list of households eligible for loans and submit them to the Commune-level People's Committee for certification and send them to the SBV for approval of loans.

In order to facilitate the issuance of certificates for STUDENTS to carry out loan procedures due to covid-19, the General Director of SBV issued Official Letter No. 8225/NHCS-TDSV dated September 17, 2021 requesting the directors of the branches of the VBSP to advise the People's Committees, the Heads of the Representative Board of the Provincial SBV to direct and request the schools/training establishments to be located on the localities. the table facilitates the timely provision of the original certificate in person or by post to the STUDENTS attending the school. In case the school is unable to promptly provide the original certificate to STUDENTS during the social distancing period or conduct online learning due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, STUDENTS contacts the school to be sent in advance the copy of the certificate (scan/photo with red mark) via the school's email inbox to the school's email inbox. SBV where the loan is lent and STUDENTS's mailbox.