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Hanoi – Amsterdam, the gift of friendship and unity

Post by: trangtrang | 10/12/2014 | 6284 reads

Mr Eberhard van der Laan, Mayor of Amsterdam, is leading a business delegation to Hanoi and particularly to our second home Hanoi – Amsterdam took place today. This visit is of great significance, as before long Hanoi – Amsterdam High School for the Gifted will celebrate its 30th anniversary. On this occasion, let’s again take a look back at the history of the school, from the day it was founded with the help of our Dutch friends.

Hanoi – Amsterdam High School was founded thanks to the tremendous help of people in the capital of Netherlands. In 1972, while the American War in Vietnam, especially Hanoi, was at its height, the residents of Amsterdam had always kept a close eye on the state of affairs and hoped to help, Hanoi specifically and Vietnam generally, in some way. The Mayor, Dr. Samkalden, eagerly propagandized people to raise money in order to gift Hanoi a proper high school after liberation. And the result of that humane act was the foundation of a high school named Hanoi – Amsterdam in 1985, a symbol of the close-knit relationship between two cities, representing the profound gratitude of Hanoians and Vietnamese towards their Dutch friends.


Sir Ivo Samkalden – Mayor of Amsterdam (1967-1977)


The beautiful capital of Netherlands


In the early 80s, with a view to having a school with “proper school, proper teachers and proper students”, Hanoi Committee of the Party and Hanoi Department of Education and Training came up with the idea of turning Hanoi – Amsterdam into a model school based on those criteria. The first year of the school began right on 9th May 1985. The students then were from Math class of Chu Van An school; Literature and Physics classes of Viet Duc school; Russian, English and Chemistry classes of Ly Thuong Kiet school and Biology class of Ba Dinh school. In the following school years, due to development demands, the high school unit was completed; French class and IT class, as well as the secondary unit, were established. Besides specialized teachers of the aforementioned schools, the Department of Education and Training also appointed elite teachers from other schools to Hanoi – Amsterdam. Thence, just like a modern machine beginning to move, the school has continuously reached new heights with the motto “Teachers emulate at teaching, students emulate at studying”…


A rare picture of the first generation of Amsers

Old Ams on Nam Cao Street…

… And the modern Ams on Hoang Minh Giam street


The school’s mission and orientation was manifested in the heartfelt speech of Principal Le Thi Oanh, Party committee secretary, on the occasion of Vietnamese Teachers’ Day 11/20/2014: “Hanoi – Amsterdam undertakes an important mission of greater significance, which is training young talents into the essential intellectual source with the ability to construct a better future for Vietnam.”


Living up to the expectations, our school has nurtured a lot of talents for the country; the evidence being the admirable achievements of generations of students since the foundation of the school:


- Over 81 students participated in international competitions in Cuba, Germany, Russia, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, China, Netherlands, Norway, Ukraine, Canada, Argentina, Turkmenistan, Iceland, Asia-Pacific… earning 77 Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.

- Over 1000 First, Second and Third prizes in National competitions.

- Over 3500 First, Second and Third prizes in City competitions.

- 95% passed the entrance exam to universities, many of whom came first in exams to prestigious universities of the country. A lot of students were awarded scholarships from prestigious universities around the world, such as in Russia, England, France, America, Australia,…

- Not only having a firm knowledge foundation, Hanoi – Amsterdam students are also outstanding in social work, culture, art and sports, gaining numerous prizes and awards at home and abroad.

- To this day, a lot of alumni have become professors, doctors, business managers, welfare workers…using their talent and virtue to help develop the city and country.

Specifically, in the 2013-2014 school year, there were astounding figures: 5 international medals in the high school unit, 18 international medals in the secondary school unit, 78 national awards, 297 city prizes in the high school unit and 67 city prizes in the secondary unit.

Two schoolgirls honorably received two gold medals in the International Chemistry Olympiad 2014 (ICho 2014). Photo:


Taking pride in the achievements of the teaching staff and students of Hanoi-Amsterdam High School during 29 years of development and growth, Ms. Lê Thị Oanh said: "Originating from the hope for peace, maturing in revision and developing in international integration, our Hanoi - Amsterdam is striving towards modernity and cultivation. Inheriting trialed core values, showing resilience through the years, Hanoi - Amsterdam is proud to have a teaching staff with high qualifications, strong political determination, integrated and refined teaching experience, as well as integrity, enthusiasm, and a love for children. Though modest, we can proudly assert that during the past 29 years, our generations of teachers and students has overcome countless hardships, working and innovating with perseverance and persistence so as to accomplish our missions. We have contributed to our nation functional citizens, who are excellent, creative, and patriotic, always ready to ensure the security, stability, and prosperity of Vietnam." Indeed, in almost 30 years since its establishment, the teaching staff of Hanoi - Amsterdam High School have had great achievements:


- 7 teachers awarded Teacher of Excellence.

- More than 60 officials and teachers affiliated to the Party and holding key positions. 

- Many teachers published with tens of titles and hundreds of highly appreciated proposals and theses. Many nationally recognized teachers give televised lectures on VTV.


- 30% of teachers are Masters and Doctors. Many graduated abroad in England, France, America, China, Russia, etc. Annually many teachers are awarded high prizes in the City's teacher quality examination.


Photo from Vietnamese Teacher's Day Anniversay (Nov 20th)


Not only confined to national reputation, Hanoi - Amsterdam High School has also been known internationally as one of the top high schools in Vietnam and has established international relationship with many regional and global High Schools and Colleges such as: INSA Institute (France), Institutes of Connecticut, Oregon (U.S.), Talor's Culverhay (Britain), Bellereys (Australia), University of Nanning (China), University of Nayang (Korea), etc.


French Professor Odon Vallet in a meeting with the school's students


The school was honored to welcome President of the Board of Ministers Phạm Văn Đồng, General Secretary Đỗ Mười, General Võ Nguyên Giáp, General Secretary Nông Đức Mạnh, Prime Minister Phan Văn Khải, President Nguyễn Minh Triết, First Lady of the Netherlands, etc. and other distinguished guests.


Prof. Nguyễn Thiện Nhân on a visit to Hanoi - Amsterdam High School


On a visit to Hanoi - Amsterdam High School for the Gifted on November 13th with Professor, President of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, Mr. Vũ Đình Chuẩn, Director of the Department of Secondary Education (MOET), said: "Specialized Schools are the pioneers of Secondary Education, and Hn-Ams High School is the pioneer of the pioneers." Not only are they "trailblazers" in academic fields, Hn-Ams High School students also excel at extracurricular activities. As Mr. Chuẩn noted: "Previously specialized students were thought of as "industry chickens" manufactured by their schools, but in recent years this mindset has changed. For instance, Hn-Ams students excel at social and voluntary activities, along with having very good life skills..." Typical cases are major annual activities that has given Hn-Ams High School its brand, organized by talented Amsers, such as: NHAT, Made In 12, Ams' Got Talent, etc. and many smaller activities.


With its outstanding achievements, Hanoi - Amsterdam High School for the Gifted has been awarded:


- Third Class Labor Medal (1995)

- Second Class Labor Medal (2000)

- Hero Unit Title (2000) 

- National Standard Qualification (2004)

- First Class Labor Medal (2005)


According to Ms. Lê Thị Oanh: "Hanoi - Amsterdam a the symbol of creativity, passion, and high aspirations; a school of creative minds and kind hearts [...] Hanoi - Amsterdam will always be the your [students'] greatest source of spiritual support; its energy will fuel you with vigor and confidence to shine with knowledge and enthusiasm and to overcome all challenges in life. Your teachers always want you to study to your best potentials, build for yourselves ambitions, carry with you great aspirations, have plenty of energy, exercise your willpower, and fuel your desire to rise to success and happiness in the future. That is the most worthy reciprocal of your parents' nurture and the school's education." Hanoi - Amsterdam High School is not only an effective and modern learning environment but also a firm anchor for the country's young generation, helping students orient their future and realize their dreams.


Established and developed during the country's renovation, for almost 30 years, Hanoi - Amsterdam High School for the Gifted has created a right direction and developed a strong impetus in order to advance into the 21st century as the nation's central specialized school, equivalent to international standard!

Reporter: Phương Linh – Chemistry 1 13-16

Translator: Phuong Ha - Tien Thanh - A1 13-16