Spare the rod and spoil the child
The local online community is up in arms about the teaching methods employed at an education centre run by Pham Minh Tuan in northern Thai Nguyen Province after it became known that staff regularly resorted to corporal punishment.
Nearly 2,000 net users expressed horror at the YouTube video of teacher Nguyen Van Thanh caning a number of luckless students, both male and female.
It was further claimed that the teacher in question lacked the proper qualifications to teach, let alone brandish a cane.
To add insult to injury, the irate online community said the centre, which has nearly 300 students and dozens of teachers, had been operating since 2009 without a licence.
A far from contrite Tuan, however, said he was a firm believer in corporal punishment, as were many other teachers at the school. He said he saw nothing wrong with beating a student who was lazy or misbehaved. And he said he would continue to give "six of the best" to the worst students.
Surprisingly, and no doubt to the dismay of youngsters up and down the country, many parents agreed with the centre's teaching methods, and that sometimes one had to be cruel to be kind.
Do Minh Quang in Trung Thanh Ward said his daughters' academic performance had improved markedly since she enrolled at the centre. If wrong answers were not rewarded by the cane, students would not bother to study as hard, he said.
Do Quynh Hoa, who has been a student at the centre for a number of years, said she had gotten used to the shame of being canned, and even joked that canny students would wear two pairs of trousers to school if they thought they might be on the receiving end of the teacher's wrath.
Although it is not uncommon for Vietnamese parents to smack their children, and for teachers to resort to the cane, it ought to be borne in mind that violence against children in any form violates the Children's Rights Protection Law.
Which rather begs the question: Should teachers themselves be punished for punishing their students with the cane? Perhaps a good birching (as it was referred to in England) would be in order!
Three days ago, police in southern Dong Nai Province began investigating the theft of a stolen car – with unusual vigour.
It seems the stolen car belonged to lieutenant-colonel Le Huu Khang, head of the provincial police's vehicle registration and management department.
It transpires that the luckless policeman had parked his Honda Civic in the front yard of his house after returning from a hard day at the office, but left his keys in the ignition.
The next morning, he discovered his front gate ajar and his car gone.
One has to wonder who is the more careless, the policeman for leaving his car unlocked, or the thief for stealing a cop's car!
Talent show runs short of talent
The live talent show Sao Mai Diem Hen (Morning Star – Rendezvous) was launched in 2004. At that time, it was the only talent show in the country aimed at unknown musicians and singers.
The programme was an immediate hit with audiences and it is still going strong.
However, viewers were somewhat dismayed when in the seventh round, judges didn't give any of the performers the thumbs down – as is usually the case in the elimination rounds.
It seems that Phu Quy and Trung Quan made it through to the next round on a technicality – not talent. It later came to light that one of the winners of the sixth round had pulled out of the show, leaving organisers short of new talent for the rest of the competition. It seems that there were no contingency plans in place in the event that some wannabe didn't want to be in the programme anymore – much to the good fortune of Quy and Quan. — VNS