They love their education up in the hills. They've been without it for so long, they'll do anything to keep the funding for schools flowing in. Anything! That is why several junior students agreed to fill in for their seniors at a recent examination.
The unlikely event happened in the northernmost mountain province of Ha Giang. Some teachers at the secondary school in the province's Meo Vac District were reported to have assigned six students from grades seven and eight to fill in for six, sick ninth grade students at the final exams.
The story stirred public opinion throughout Viet Nam. People wonder how junior students could cope with lessons they had never been taught. Party secretary for the district Hau Minh Loi set up an inspection team to verify the truth of the story. The team reported back that the incident did actually happen.
The school's teachers said that when the examinations were held, some students in Grade 9 stayed home because they said they were sick. Sinh Mi Say, one of the six students, said that he did not want to fill in for someone else. He added that he could only complete the test by copying the results from other students in the test room.
Whatever the youngsters did, they did it well. All six senior students passed, meaning that student numbers were officially maintained and, presumably, the school will still receive full funding for next year.
How's your father - and mother?
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has agreed with a proposal by the Ministry of Public Security to drop the need for parents' names on new ID cards, no matter how old you, or they, are! It has issued a decree to this effect which will come into effect on November 2.
A year ago, also based on a proposal by the Ministry of Public Security, the Government decreed that new ID cards should contain the names of the ID holder's parents despite opposition from judicial experts.
According to an official from the Ministry of Justice, that provision is contrary to the Civil Code and the International Convention on the Rights of Children to which Viet Nam was a signatory since 1989.
It has been argued that the introduction of human origins to ID cards is very emotional and it can cause psychological affects on those whose parents died or those who do not know their parents. But, red tape being harder to get rid of than the smell of cats, abolishing the regulation does not help reduce the complexity of the new 12-digit card when making transactions at banks or administrative agencies. Despite having new ID, people still have to carry the old IDs with nine digits until they become invalid because the 12 digits are totally different to the nine digits.
If the new decree comes into force, there will be three types of ID cards - the old nine-digit ID, the new 12-digit ID with names of the ID holder's parents - and 12-digit cards without their names. The legitimacy of the three types is the same.
Deputy Director of the General Department of Police for Administration of Social Safety and Order Tran Van Ve said that those who currently owned ID cards with their parent names on them and wanted new ones without their parents' names, could apply after paying their fees as regulated!
Uni withdraws shoddy diplomas
The University of Thai Nguyen in the northern province of the same name has apologised for granting graduation certificates containing obvious spelling mistakes. The documents also do not carry the Ministry of Education and Training's stamps to guarantee they are genuine.
In July, 730 graduates from the university were received certified copies of their diplomas on which, among other things, the title of the university dean was misspelled.
A student said it would be hard to seek jobs using the documents because recruitment agencies would doubt they were genuine. A university leader admitted the mistakes, blaming them on the printers. He also admitted school officials did not closely examine the activity.
The school has said it will withdraw the certificates and issue new ones to students. It will also support the travelling costs for students living outside the province who have to return to school to apply for new certificates. — VNS