by Thu Hang
Student helped to take exam
A swift response of the Ministry of Education and Training has helped high school graduate Nguyen Huynh Nhan to sit the university entrance examination this year.
After Nhan applied for admission to the Banking Academy in Ha Noi and registered to take the exam in Quy Nhon City in the central province of Binh Dinh, he was told that he would have to travel to Ha Noi because of a place entry mistake.
On July 2, just two days before the exam date, he withdrew his name, although authorities at Quy Nhon City's education office had agreed to pay his travel costs to Ha Noi.
The next day, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga read about Nhan's story in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, and signed a document that allowed Nhan to take the exam at Nha Trang University, just 60 kilometres away from his house.
"The right of examinees should be ensured," Ga said. "A young person could miss many opportunities if he had to wait another year to enter the university."
At 4:30am on July 4, Nhan's father drove him to Nha Trang.
"I felt really happy and relieved after I finished the exam," Nhan said.
Disabled teen to teach IT
Nguyen Minh Tri, a student at An Giang University who was born without arms, wants to open a computer and information technology centre after he graduates.
"I will return to my hometown to teach local people. This is how I will repay all the people who have helped me," Tri said.
Tri was the youngest of a poor family of five children in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang's Chau Phu District.
He entered the first grade when he was 10 years old. Although his brothers and sisters dropped out of school to earn for living, Tri was determined to graduate from high school, where he eventually had outstanding marks.
"This diligent teenager who has no arms is an example for other young people to follow," said Nguyen The Xieu, chairman of Chau Phu District's Thanh My Tay Commune.
Tri does his own cooking, cleaning and washing up. He also farms and plants trees.
Every day, the freshman walks 500 metres from his lodging room to the university. To save money, he and his roommate cook meals after classes.
Hue's octogenarian tour guides
A group of elderly women keep Hue's rich culture alive by giving daily talks at a demonstration house about rural life and the city's famous Thanh Toan tile-roofed bridge, recognised as a national landmark in 1991.
Le Thi Nganh, an 80-year-old woman, who has since retired from the work, took care of the house before several other women, also in their 80s, began to pitch in after she quit due to bad health.
Like Nganh, other local residents offered their farming tools, including ploughs, rakes, manual rice grinders, fishing basket and boats, which are kept in the house.
At the house, which was built by local authorities, the women give talks about Viet Nam's agricultural and rural lifestyle. As they cannot speak English, the women use body language and sing Hue songs to foreign visitors.
City officials said the women who followed in Nganh's footsteps have made the Thanh Toan bridge a must-see site in Hue. After visitors hear the women talk at the house, they then travel to the bridge to take a look. — VNS