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Lottery vendor aces exam to become civil servant

Update: March, 20/2018 - 09:00
Thái reads books preparing for his incoming civil-servant job. —
Viet Nam News

SÓC TRĂNG — Kim Thái, 37, a Khmer man living in the Mekong Delta province of Sóc Trăng, wears a broad-brim hat to walk the streets of Long Phú Town, selling lottery tickets to earn a living as he has for the past 13 years.

But his life may soon change. Thái recently learned that he had earned the highest score in the latest exam to enroll civil servants for the administrative office of the People’s Committee of the province’s Long Phú District.

He scored 233; the runner-up notched 204.  

While awaiting the official letter from the local administration to enroll, Thái continues his job as a lottery vendor.

Thái said his dream of becoming a civil servant was present in his thoughts every passing day, especially since he graduated from university in 2015, the Lao động (Labour) newspaper reported.

“If I become a civil servant, I think I will enter a new working environment where I could be devoted and learn a lot,” he said. “I want my children to see me as a good example for non-stop efforts to make a dream come true.”

Unquitted dream

Thái was forced to leave the Sóc Trăng Pedagogy College in 1998 when he was the second-year student.

“It was actually the hardest decision of my life so far,” he added. “But I had no choice.”

His two older brothers already had to work very hard to earn enough money to send him to the school. However, when they were married and had to take care their own families, they could not continue paying tuition for Thái.

Thái then had to find a job to take care of six younger brothers as his parents aged. He worked any job he could find, including builder and motorbike taxi driver (xe ôm), to cover daily expenses.

He started to sell lottery tickets in 2005 when he got married.

“I always thought about going back to school whenever I got the chance,” he said.

In 2015, when his financial life had become less difficult, Thái decided to register for a distance-education course to pursue his unfinished dream.

He spent five days a week selling lottery tickets and spent every weekend studying. He sold the lottery tickets during the daytime and read books and did his homework at night. He even studied overnight to meet deadlines.

“Sometimes I felt exhausted, but I could not give up,” he said.

After graduating, Thái came another step closer to his dream. He began to seek civil-servant jobs but failed to find one. At the end of 2017, the Sóc Trăng Province Home Affairs Department posted a note seeking to enroll new employees. Thái immediately registered for the exam.

The standardized exam would have four separate tests: English, IT, general knowledge and specialised knowledge.

Thái studied day and night to prepare for the exam—and he passed.

Opportunities still there

Thái’s story is inspiring not only for aspiring civil servants, but also for anyone who wants to turn a ream into reality.

His journey also illustrates the difficulty of obtaining a Government job these days. New graduates who hope to get a Government job must cope with increasing pressures due to the Government’s current downsizing policies.

But though it is small, the chance of success is still there.

Hồ Trung Đoàn, chairman of the People’s Committee of Long Phú Town, said when he heard that Thái passed the exam, he and residents of the town felt happy. Thái was a good example of someone pursuing his dream, an example that is especially instructive for young people, Đoàn said.

“Seeing the joy in his eyes when he told me he passed the exam, we all believe he will become a dedicated civil servant in the near future,” he said. — VNS


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