Teachers at a secondary school in the central province of Ha Tinh is running a free barber shop to serve students from low-income families.
Talking about the shop which has just been opened for a month, the headmaster of Thu Hau Secondary School in Loc Ha District, Dang Huu Tuong, said that he saw many male students return to school with long hair after the summer holiday this year.
“I called some of the boys to ask why they didn’t have their hair cut and they said they don’t have the money,” the teacher said. “I know that most of the students here are from low-income families whose parents struggle to make ends meet with farming job. Some stay with grandparents as their parents work far from home. Due to their hard life, many families just don’t pay much attention to their children’s hair. So I discussed with some teachers to open the barber shop.”
With support from some teachers who volunteer to work at the shop, it was opened more than a month ago at a parking area inside the school. Students can come for a haircut given by their teachers after class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons.
Teacher Le Xuan Hung, one of the four barbers at the shop said that he learnt haircutting himself and used to offer free haircut to his classmates during the time he studied at college.
I am teaching Chemistry at the school,” teacher Hung said. “I and the other three teachers are happy to help our students with our haircutting skills.”
Hung said that at first they had to come to each class to persuade students who need a hair cut.
“Many students were shy or reluctant at first,” the teacher said. “Some doubted our skills. But after seeing our “products”, many students have come to us. The shop is now always crowded.”
Pham Van Thang who is in grade 8 said that he was very happy with the new hairstyle cut by his teacher.
“Many people said I look much better with this hairstyle,” Thang shared. “Our teachers are not only offering us free haircut but also teaching us to keep ourselves clean and neat. And by their work they’re also teaching us to care for others.”
Tran Duc Bao in class 6D said that he used to pay VND20,000 (90 US cents) for a haircut at a hair salon and it was a lot of money for him.
“My parents are poor so I’m usually hesitant to ask them money for a haircut,” Bao said. “Now I’m very happy to be offered the service by our teachers”.