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Director disappears after closing English centers across Vietnam, with wage, tuition unpaid

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Many teachers and students have been on tenterhooks as they lost contact with the director of a Ho Chi Minh City-based English training company that has shut down a series of its centers across Vietnam without settling wages and tuition.

Around half a month ago, the city’s Department of Education and Training contacted Do Van Quan, director of Master English Education Company Limited, which owns the Saigon American English (SAS), asking him to explain tuition-related complaints from students of some SAS centers that had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a report sent later to the department, Quan said the COVID-19 epidemic had severely affected the company’s operations and solvency, making it fail to fully pay its staff and teachers, Nguyen Phuc Huy Tung, head of the department’s continuing education division, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

In his report, Quan pledged to resolve SAS students’ complaints and said the online training model would be applied.

He also promised to pay teachers interest on the unpaid amounts of salary.

However, the department could not get in touch with Quan when many SAS teachers and students reported him to police as he had allegedly fled away without paying salary and tuition fees to them.

“I’ve been unable to reach Quan by phone during the last two days after hearing that a lot of SAS centers across the country have stopped operations,” Tung said.

The division’s head added that local education authorities are ready to coordinate with police, if required, to protect the legitimate rights and interests of students.

Over the past few days, thousands of SAS students, teachers, and staff were upset by the sudden closure of SAS centers, not only in Ho Chi Minh City but also in tens of other localities, including Can Tho, Tien Giang, Tay Ninh, Dong Nai, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Lam Dong, Da Nang, Thua Thiên Hue, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, and Quang Ninh.

Quan has signed many commitments to refund tuition fees and pay wages using his private bank account, but nobody could get back their money or speak to him.

M.H., a student of an SAS center in Ho Chi Minh City’s Go Vap District, told Tuoi Tre that she paid a total of VND25.2 million (US$1,110) in March for a course of English communication for her and her sister.

Their course was suspended in May due to the pandemic and the center has given no information to them since then, H. said, adding that she could no longer get in touch with the center’s employee who gave consultancy on her enrollment.

B.D.B., a teacher of an SAS center in the city’s Binh Thanh District, said since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic in early 2020, the center has made late wage payments.

“Not only me but also dozens of other teachers, including foreigners, and employees of many other SAS centers have had their salaries unpaid,” B. said.

Talking to Tuoi Tre last week, V.P.T.A., Quan’s deputy, said he had lost contact with Quan for a week and that many people have also been looking for him.

“So far this year, thousands of students, teachers, and employees have kept calling me to ask for payment of tuition fees and unpaid salaries, but I am just a staff member and I have personally had nearly VND300 million [$13,200] in salary owed by the company,” A. said.

As far as Tuoi Tre knows, the SAS ran nearly 70 centers in more than 20 cities and provinces nationwide.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20211018/director-disappears-after-closing-english-centers-across-vietnam-with-wage-tuition-unpaid/63646.html

Education

Opportunities for expats to master engineering expertise in Ho Chi Minh City

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Expats working in Ho Chi Minh City can upgrade their knowledge with a good choice of international standard study programs without leaving their current employment.

Vietnam has become a popular destination for higher education with a wide range of study disciplines.

According to the recent database of the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Vietnam has attracted more than eight thousand international learners from around the world.

More and more universities develop study programs delivered in English, which is not only suitable for English-speaking learners but also helps improve the domestic training quality and study environment.

Internationalization in Vietnamese higher education has been widely sought-after by top universities.

BK-IMP students visit Masteri Centre Point construction sites at the Vinhomes Grand Park metropolitan area in Ho Chi Minh City.

BK-IMP students visit Masteri Centre Point construction sites at the Vinhomes Grand Park metropolitan area in Ho Chi Minh City.

Among universities’ different efforts, executing study programs in English is the most popular.

However, when it comes to engineering disciplines, there are not many options until a pioneering university in engineering introduced its Bach Khoa International Master Program (BK-IMP), which is tailored for local learners employed by international enterprises and expats who are working in Ho Chi Minh City and nearby places to deepen their knowledge as well as field practice.

The Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HCMUT) under the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City (VNU-HCM) launched the BK-IMP in the early of 2019 with three cutting-edge engineering fields, namely construction management, telecommunications engineering, and petroleum engineering, and rolled out two more study areas in 2020, including computer science as well as a major in cyber security and business administration oriented toward innovation and entrepreneurship.

In 2021, HCMUT added another major to computer science – data science – which is among the sought-after in both working and studying areas.

BK-IMP is also aimed at providing a professional managerial background for engineers who are seeking intensive professional and practical knowledge in their disciplines, together with essential skill sets to become prospective managers.

BK-IMP students are pictured visiting the Ho Chi Minh City Metro construction site in 2020 to observe the latest practices in construction manangement.

BK-IMP students are pictured visiting the Ho Chi Minh City Metro construction site in 2020 to observe the latest practices in construction manangement.

In 2019, HCMUT started to implement a project called Collaborative Education Program for the BK-IMP Master in Construction Management, sponsored by the JICA for AUN/SEED-Net.

The project boasts the participation from Yokohama National University in Japan, Yangon Technological University in Myanmar, and JFE Steel Corporation in Japan.

During this project, the consortium attracts ASEAN students to join, study, and cooperatively research demanding topics.

Furthermore, the consortium is developing a double-degree program run by HCMUT and YNU, as well as expanding the network of partner universities to enhance learners’ practices and knowledge during their enrollment in BK-IMP.

Expats interested in BK-IMP courses can get more information from HCMUT via:

Office for International Study Programs, HCMUT
268 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
Room 306, Floor 3, Building A4

Website: https://imp.hcmut.edu.vn/home-en/

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +84 28 7300 4183 / +84 3 3264 3264

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20220923/opportunities-for-expats-to-master-engineering-expertise-in-ho-chi-minh-city/69203.html

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Kindergarten teacher suspended for allegedly stabbing students in northern Vietnam

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A kindergarten teacher in Thai Binh Province, northern Vietnam has been suspended since Wednesday amidst accusations from parents that she had stabbed students with sharp objects.

Nguyen Thi Tuyet, principal of Ky Ba – Fairy Dream 2 Kindergarten in the province’s Thai Binh City, where the incident happened, said that the suspension of P.T.T.T., 26, was meant to facilitate a police investigation into the case.

The school management board promptly asked local police to investigate accusations made online by parents of students in Sunny 1 class that their children had been stabbed by T. with needles or thorns, according to Tuyet. 

At the same time, the school convened a meeting with parents to collect their accounts of the incident.

So far, all of the school’s camera footage and related documents have been shared with police officers for use during the investigation, Tuyet said.

“Although the incident remains unclear, we would like to sincerely apologize to parents for the worries that have been caused over their children,” the principal added.

On Wednesday, the People’s Committee of Thai Binh Province also ordered the police unit and the education administration division of Thai Binh City to handle the case.

Ky Ba – Fairy Dream 2 Kindergarten officially opened for operation in mid-2022.

It currently hosts 180 children. 

Class Sunny 1 has 25 children and three teachers.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20220922/kindergarten-teacher-suspended-for-allegedly-stabbing-students-in-northern-vietnam/69200.html

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Old photo causes misunderstanding of central Vietnamese school giving students rat meat meals

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Authorities in Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam on Monday rectified false information that was fabricated from an old photo and caused people to mistakenly think that a local school provided lunch boxes with rat meat for students.

The People’s Committee of Nam Giang District in Quang Nam managed to determine that the viral photo of a lunch box with rat meat was taken in December 2019 at Thanh My Kindergarten in the district’s mountainous Thanh My Town.

During a traditional food festival held by the kindergarten at that time, a parent treated participants to a lunch box containing rice and wild rat meat — a popular dish of the local people.

A teacher took a photo of the lunch box and recently shared it with a chat group, from where the picture was widely spread and misinterpreted as proof of Thanh My Kindergarten giving students nutrient-poor food.

A Viet Son, chairman of Nam Giang District, stated that local authorities always attach great importance to students’ nutrition and meals.

“There is no such thing as a school or a parent giving meals with rat meat like the one circulated online,” Son affirmed.

On the other hand, he said that wild rat meat is a dish familiar to residents of Nam Giang and is often available at local parties.

Therefore, eating rat meat during meals is a common practice, according to Son.

The chairman added that local police officers are investigating the case to handle related individuals and groups.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20220913/old-photo-causes-misunderstanding-of-central-vietnamese-school-giving-students-rat-meat-meals/69060.html

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