Teachers, students and parents have to trespass every day to reach Bung Rieng Kindergarten in Xuyen Moc District in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. Construction of the modern facility, which cost a whopping VND48 billion (US$2.1 million) and can accommodate up to 300 children, was completed three years ago. However, the road leading to the school was never built.
This was because, as a spokesman for the local People's Committee said, the cost of building the road to the main gate was too expensive. He said local authorities had used an alternative route to a side gate to significantly reduce the cost of construction.
The only problem was that the local authority did not own the rights to all the land needed for the road. This was why, for three years, teachers, students and their parents were forced to cross a patch of land owned by a local family to get to the kindergarten.
After years of negotiations, the family lost its patience and fenced off their land with barbed wire to block all pedestrians. It said they had allowed the public to use the land free of charge for too long and it was time the local authority made them a proper offer.
Faced with the ultimatum, the district's authority has finally started the process of compensating the family and securing a permanent route for people to reach the kindergarten.
New type of emergency
Ambulance driver Tran Van Dai received a call last Thursday to take a mother and child from Ha Tinh Province to Ha Noi for emergency treatment. Dai was no stranger to this type of situation, but he was surprised to learn why he was needed.
"Half way to their supposed destination, the mother told me she and her son were going to Ha Noi so he could withdraw his university application and resubmit it to another," he said.
For the first time this year, after succeeding at their exams, students can move their university application from place to place for a period of 20 days.
The mother said her son scored well in the exam but during the last few days, a large number of applications had been submitted to the university of his choice. This prompted him to move his application to another school just to be safe.
As they were racing with time, the mother thought an ambulance would be the best way to make it to the city in the shortest possible time. "While it wasn't really medically related, I suppose it was kind of an emergency," the driver said.
Indeed, next we'll be catching ambulances to the airport - or to the footy!
Not so social
In addition to the regular materials provided for the new school year, students at Nguyen Duc Canh High School in northern Thai Binh Province received a small booklet designed to provide them with guidance as they explored Facebook, the world's largest social networking site.
Parents and students made encouraging comments about the booklet. One said: "Facebook is not a diary, mind your own privacy." Another said: "Think it through. Be responsible. Your actions online have impact."
But even teachers can learn a thing or two about how to use social networks. A kindergarten teacher recently lost her job after ranting about her students on a social networking site. She referred to them as "uneducated brats" and said she wanted to slap them.
She was immediately fired after her words were discovered by parents and the school's administration. "It was not meant to be severe. It was meant to show an example," the school's principle said.
A matter of networking being too much "in your face" at times. — VNS