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Pioneering literature professor dies aged 94

Update: October, 01/2013 - 10:01
Much missed: Professor Hoang Nhu Mai won over students with his broad knowledge and friendliness. — Photo

HCM CITY  (VNS) — Professor Hoang Nhu Mai, a veteran teacher who made many contributions to Viet Nam's education, died on Friday. He was 94.

Mai was born into a high ranking intellectual family on September 26, 1919 in the northern province of Bac Giang.

Before the August Revolution in 1945, he studied at the Ha Noi Medical University and Ha Noi University of Law. In 1943, he started work as a teacher of literature at Dong Hai private secondary school in northern Hai Duong town. He then worked as a headmaster at private secondary school Phan Thanh in northern Thai Binh Province.

In 1950, he was among the first teachers at Viet Bac Central Teachers Training School. He was in charge of teaching and research at the school, which today is part of Ha Noi National University.

Mai had laid the foundations for research into Vietnamese literature after the August Revolution to build up material for teaching Vietnamese literature in schools between 1945-60 .

In 1980, he moved to HCM City to work as a teacher in the literature department at the HCM City Social Sciences and Humanity University. From 1988 until his death, he was chairman of the HCM City Research and Teaching Literature Association.

Apart from teaching, Mai published many valuable research books, articles and literary works, mostly poetry and prose.

He became a professor in 1982 and the highest-ranking title for teacher – People's Teacher – in 1990. He was also awarded the Order of Labour, first class, by the State in the same year.

During 65 years working as a teacher, Professor Mai trained thousands of students, many of whom hold important Government posts.

"I still remember how my friends and I longed for his lessons," said Nguyen Ngoc Ky, "He opened an interesting and immense stock of knowledge in every lesson. He also conquered us by his friendliness and his warm smile."

His funeral takes place in HCM City Funeral Hall today. — VNS

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