by Phuong Mai
Disabled teacher helps thousands
Le Quoc Hung was in 10th grade when he was afflicted by a crippling disease that made it difficult for him to move about.
Racked by despair, he wanted to end his life, but his family's care, affection and counsel gave him courage.
He was not only able to overcome his despondency, but able to help others, thousands of them.
This was 20 yeas ago. For two decades, the 47-year-old has been offering free training courses for poor children in Tuy Phuoc District in Binh Dinh Province.
"I lost my dream of being a doctor, so I want to help children follow their dreams," he said.
The 20sq.m class, which has operates in two shifts – morning and afternoon, has just a black board and a big table, but there are always 15 – 20 students coming to learn.
Nguyen Thi Bich Le, 12th grader at the Tuy Phuoc High school, said Hung was an excellent and enthusiastic teacher.
He can teach students from the first grade to 12th grade all subjects including math, physics and English, and his teaching is easy to understand, Le said.
Hung says that to keep up, he keeps reading and learning all the time.
"I will continue teaching work until I cannot walk anymore. I am the happiest when I am standing by my students."
The Voice breaks fans faith
All the reality shows in Viet Nam, based on successful programmes in other countries, have been a huge hit with audiences.
One of the most popular of these shows was The Voice, which has the unique feature of "blind auditions" where famous musicians vie for the chance to train contestants after listening to their voice without seeing them.
After the blind audition, contestants engage in a battle round and follow it up with live performances.
However, fans of this show have been left shocked and outraged by an audio clip uploaded by an unknown person onto the Internet that suggests unfair manipulation of the results, contradicting organisers' claims that the show is impartial and based on the choice of judges in the first two rounds.
A woman's voice on the clip is heard saying she would help a competitor to win the battle round and enter the final. It was revealed to be the voice of the show's music director, Phuong Uyen.
At a press conference held in HCM City on September 11, the culprit, organisers (Viet Nam Television (VTV) and Cat Tien Sa Company), judges and contestants tried to downplay the scandal.
They acknowledged the voice was that of Phuong Uyen, but alleged it had been edited to misrepresent what she had actually said.
The explanation has failed to satisfy the public.
Pham Thanh Thao, of Binh Thanh District, said it had been a long time since a show as good as The Voice had been broadcast on television, but had been left "really disappointed" by recent events.
On September 12, the Performing Arts Department asked VTV and Cat Tien Sa Company to submit a report to punish violators and send a warning to other organisers.
However, the loss of public confidence in the contest won't be regained easily, going by adverse comments aplenty from netizen fans of the show. — VNS