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Inaccurate text books raise concerns

Update: May, 15/2013 - 09:42
A large number of reference books with inaccurate information on Vietnamese history, geography and culture, are stirring up public concerns over their negative impacts on children.— VNS File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— A large number of reference books with inaccurate information on Vietnamese history, geography and culture, are stirring up public concerns over their negative impacts on children.

The statistics of the Ministry of Information and Communications showed more than 50 books of 27 publishing houses that contained inappropriate information and images in the first three months of this year.

Most of these books for kindergarten children and primary students have been withdrawn from circulation for re-editing and adjustment of facts.

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Bac Son said some of these books had wrong information about the country's sovereignty and inappropriate images.

Nguyen Thanh Trang, a mother of a four-year-old boy, said an exercise in a book by Art Publishing House asked children to colour the country's national flag. But the illustration was of another country's national flag.

This would form a wrong notion in children's mind which could affect their whole life, she said.

Hoang Thuy Anh, a mother of a third-grade student, said a dictation in the reference book of "Words and Sentences" for the third grade listed the country's war against the foreign invaders. But the information was wrong.

The editors of the book seemed to assume that it was a dictation exercise so children would just focus on writing not reading to understand, she said. The parents agreed the publishing houses were too careless.

Son said the publishing houses should take legal responsibility for these violations.

Under the current Publishing Law, the co-operation activities between a publishing house and its partner are allowed at the printing stage, not the editing stage. However, some directors and editors-in-chief have failed to obey these regulations and let their partners take the responsibility for editing. The partners then add inaccurate information.

Many editors with low-qualifications had failed to check the additional information related to the country's borders or sovereignty but just focused on the main content of their books, he said.

When those violations were detected, the ministry immediately informed the publishing houses who had to take the responsibility of settling the consequences caused by their violations, such as withdrawing the books, he said.

Both ministries of Information and Communications and Education and Training were responsible for book and newspaper publishing, Son said.

The two ministries would add more punishment measures to catch up with the current developments, he said.

However, he affirmed that serious violations in publishing activities could result in criminal punishment.

More inspections would be appointed to prevent such violations, he said.

The Ministry of Education and Training has also guided departments to be responsible for choosing books with clear origins and suitable content with the country's law, culture and history. —VNS



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