Being the first and also the oldest high school in Vietnam, originally Quoc Hoc (National high school) was the school for children from royal and noble families.
Being the first and also the oldest high school in Vietnam, originally Quoc Hoc (National high school) was the school for children from royal and noble families. On the site that used to be former squadron headquarter – a royal navy headquarters, French colonialists built this school to train those who would serve the feudal colonial government. Therefore, at that time, French was the main subject for students and the school’s gate was titled “Phap tu Quoc Hoc truong mon” (French National High School’s Gate). Now it’s named Hue National High School and is a high-profile school that all students must pass a competititve entrance exam to get the admission.
On 17 September 1896 (the 8th year of Thành Thái reign), Quốc Học – Huế High school was established in conformation to the royal verdict and the verdict of the French Resident-Superior in Indochina on 18 November 1896. The school was constructed on the place of a previous squadron headquarters – a royal navy headquarters (1806 or the 5th year of Gia Long’s reign).
Quốc Học – Huế High school was established to coach the students, who would serve the feudal colonial government, and the study curriculum then was harmonized with the purpose, French was the main subject. The acceptable students by Quốc Học High School are: the sons of the relatives of the King, the sons of royal families, the sons of mandarins, the students of Thanh Nhon school and Quoc Tu Giam school.
In 1915, Quốc Học – Huế was reconstructed. The rows of thatch roofed apartments were torn down and restored by two rows of buildings, the walls made of brick, and the roof covered with tiles. According to the western European architecture, the construction was solid, and comfortable. Most of the architectures in the school are still exist.
In 1932, Quốc Học – Huế opened many specialized classes and became known as Khải Định Lycee. On 19 December 1946, during the confrontation against French Colonialists, the school was moved into two places: One branch called “Binh Tri Thien School” was located in Huong Khe, Hà Tĩnh province and the other branch called “Huynh Thuc Khang School”, was located in Đức Thọ, Hà Tĩnh Province. The branch came back to Huế after ten years of disruption, and was conquered by French Colonialists as a barrack on April 29, 1955. Later Quốc Học – Huế was reinstated and restarted its normal operation.
Since the academic year of 1994-95, Quốc Học has been designated as one of the three National High School of high proficiency declared by the Prime Minister (the other two schools are Lê Hồng Phong High School of Ho Chi Minh City and Chu Van An High School of Hanoi).
In 2009, Quốc Học – Huế High School was officially renamed as Quốc Học – Huế High School for the Gifted, which made it become the first and the only Gifted High School of Thừa Thiên–Huế Province.
Tourists who want to visit Quoc Hoc High School should remember that the school doesn’t allow entrances during class’s time, which ends at 5.15 p.m. everyday (though it might be easier to go through the two side gates, in fact). What’s more, the students are very eager to talk to foreigners, especially English speakers and French speakers. That’s the place for those who want to take photos of natural background, understand more about French colonial architecture and watch female students in white aodai, sparkling in the nice background.
Quoc Hoc Highschool on the east bank of Perfume river, near Trang Tien bridge of Hue city.
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