Policemen in Xuan Ha Ward in Thanh Khe District, Da Nang City, are still talking about two girls who arrived at their office to pay VND2.5 million compensation for destroying their room-mates' clothing.
The girls, Lieu and Nga, shared a room with two other girls. After arguments and personality clashes, the first pair decided to move out. But, before they did so, the vindictive little horrors cut all their room-mates' clothes to shreds.
When called to the scene, local police ordered the errant two to pay VND2.5 million (US$120) compensation to their former friends. However, not to be outdone, the terrible two paid the whole fine with a total of 1,600 small, crumpled bank-notes, including 1,000 VND1,000 notes and five hundred VND2,000 notes.
Counting the crumpled payout took the two policemen nearly three hours. Luckily the dreadful duo had to pay only VND2.5 million, or else they could have delayed the police all day!
Making the money roll in
In a frank admission, the Minister of Education and Training, Pham Vu Luan, said earlier this month that holders of fake diplomas could ply their professions in Government offices, but not in those controlled by foreign or private enterprises.
While this was not news to many who work in Government offices, it created quite a stir because it was the Minister himself who had spoken out - loudly! His courage is commendable, but some clarification is necessary, even if it hurts.
It goes something like this. Private and foreign enterprises have to work at their best levels to make a profit. This means having clear responsibility mechanisms. To make things work, they need to choose the right people with the right qualifications. These employees have to display their ability in the marketplace, which has its own strict discipline: succeed or get out!
Meanwhile, Vietnamese State offices and agencies operate differently. They don't have to compete to earn profit. They operate with funding from the State budget. Those chosen to do the job have certain kinds of degrees – whether real or not.
Perhaps things would work better for State-controlled enterprises if staff were chosen for their ability to do business and get the money rolling in. An embarrassment of riches is much better than just plain old embarrassment.
According to schedule
Two weeks ago, about 300 students took part in a swimming contest in Quang Rach District in central Quang Binh Province. It would not have been a big deal if it was a normal sunny day. However, the weather fell to 11degrees Celsius during the day.
As the contest was to be held at an outdoor lake, many parents and teachers rather sensibly proposed postponing the contest. However, leaders of the district's Education Unit refused to do so. Head of events, Dang Xuan Loc, said the schedule had been arranged and could not be changed.
So, as teachers, parents and many education leaders stood around the freezing lake in their warm, padded clothing, students had to jump into the cold water to take part in races. Many teachers held up towels in their hands to wrap students in at the end of each race.
Seems like the whole day ended up back to front. Instead of creating healthy minds in healthy bodies, students were being encouraged to risk flu and chills just to preserve the arranged schedule of the day. The Spartans would have been proud. — VNS