September 5 has long been considered the first day of the new academic year for Vietnamese pupils. The day features a joyful atmosphere and excitement with colourful flowers and flags. However, the day also reminds many people, especially the elderly, of a new school year back when the country faced tough times.

Pictures of a beautiful schooling time 30 years ago were kept carefully by this group of alumnus. These former students entered high school during a hard time for the country. Therefore, their  school opening ceremonies were very difficult.

Things have changed but the impression of simple school opening ceremonies on the school yard remains unchanged in everyone’s mind. Past school opening ceremonies were not as resplendent as today’s but were still a festival for the pupils.

The echo of the school drum resounds jubilantly. Everyone wishes for a fruitful school year with great achievements.-VNA