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Do schools for the gifted need professors or just normal high school teachers?



The news that Hoa Binh province is willing to spend VND1 billion to attract professors and associate professors to teach at the provincial school for the gifted has raised controversy.

Do schools for the gifted need professors or just normal high school teachers?

Under the draft resolution of the Hoa Binh People’s Council on policies applied to the province’s school for the gifted, associate professors and professors would commit to teach at least 10 years at the school, and receive VND1 billion in financial support. Meanwhile, teachers with a doctorate who commit to teach at least 10 years would get support of VND300 million.

According to Bui Thi Kim Tuyen, Director of Hoa Binh Education and Training Department, the proposal was made after considering the current situation. Hoang Van Thu High School for the Gifted in the province still does not have teachers with doctorates, professor and associate professor titles, which makes it difficult to train talents.

“We believe that only good teachers can produce good students,” Tuyen explained.

“Students at the school for the gifted are selected very carefully. It is a place which gathers the best students. The school needs teachers with high qualifications who can help students promote their abilities,” he said. “The teachers also give training to teachers in our province.”

According to Cao Xuan Hung, Director of Nam Dinh Education and Training, the policies on attracting talents depend on demand, orientation and conditions of each locality.

“In principle, it’d be better for schools to attract good teachers. However, it doesn’t always mean that when you pay money, you will get the desired results,” he said.

He agrees with the opinion that not all professors are better than normal high school teachers. Professors and associate professors may not have good pedagogical methods, while high school teachers have more pedagogical experience.

However, he said there is no need to worry about the fact that professors lack pedagogical skills. When recruiting professors and associate professors, HoaBinh needs to set up criteria that candidates need to satisfy.

“Localities have methods to find candidates they need and meet their requirements,” Hung said.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Thanh Cong, a teacher at the high school for the gifted under the University of Education, said that the policy can create a ‘breath of fresh air’ to education, as students can approach new education methods.

Cong said using professors and associate professors at general school is unreasonable and won’t bring the desired effects.

“Professors are those who receive intensive training and have deep knowledge about some certain fields. They mostly teach and conduct scientific research at tertiary education establishments and research institutes, rather than general school,” he said.

“They may be very specialized in a narrow field of expertise, but may not have knowledge in some other subjects,” he said.

Gifted students nowadays not only have good knowledge but also good skills.

He believes that it would be better to use the money for young talented people to study at good schools and then become teachers at schools for the gifted.

What if professors teach at general schools?

Le Cong Loi, headmaster of the High School for the Gifted under the Hanoi University of Natural Sciences, said that professors and associate professors are more suited to teaching at universities and to scientific research.

His school could be considered a special case as the high school belongs to a university. At high schools belonging to universities, it’s normal that teachers have academic titles.

Meanwhile, the situation is different in other provinces, where high schools don’t belong to universities. In these localities, the missions and development needs of schools for the gifted are not ‘close’ to the duties of associate professors and professors, unless the orientation and goals of the high school for the gifted in Hoa Binh are different from that of other provinces.

Loi said there are many professors teaching at his high school but most of them are visiting teachers, and teaching high school students is not their major task. 

Thanh Hung



Over 41,500 workers lose jobs in Vietnam in latter half of 2022



Some 1,235 enterprises in Vietnam are facing difficulties in production, affecting 472,000 workers, and more than 41,500 people have had their labor contracts terminated since the middle of the year, according to the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor.

These figures are drawn from a statistic conducted by the confederation in 44 provinces and cities across the country during the half-year period.

Of the 41,558 people who lost their jobs, nearly 30,300 were female workers aged 35 or older, and more than 9,400 were pregnant and raising children under one year old.

The job cuts occurred mainly in textile, garment, footwear, and wood processing enterprises as they lacked foreign orders, faced increasing input costs and declining consumer demand from major markets such as the U.S., the EU, and Japan, according to the confederation.

The union forecasts that those difficulties will last until the middle of 2023, leading to more layoffs and reductions in working hours, and seriously affecting workers’ income.

The agency also does not rule out scenarios where business owners run away, owe salaries, social insurance and other benefits, or purge workers over 35 years old from their companies to recruit younger people at lower pay.

By the end of November, there were 144 collective work stoppages in industrial parks, export processing zones, and economic zones, an increase of 53 times over the same period in 2021. 

The main reason is that wages and benefits were cut while workers had lost income during the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phan Van Anh, vice chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor, asked trade unions to proactively urge enterprises to pay unpaid wages and reward employees at the end of the year.

Trade unions must also negotiate with employers to arrange working time to minimize job loss, especially for female workers aged 35 years old and in difficult situations.

On October 26, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor announced a plan to give support totaling VND500 billion (US$20.2 million) to workers in celebration of the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, which will begin in the latter half of January.

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Boy dies after school lunch in south-central Vietnam



Police in Binh Dinh Province, south-central Vietnam are investigating a case where a five-year-old boy in Hoai An District died after having lunch at his kindergarten on Tuesday.

Teachers at Tang Bat Ho Kindergarten prepared T.H.A. and his classmates for a nap after lunch at around 11:25 am on the day, but later found that the five-year-old was still awake and showed unusual signs indicating poor health, Mai Van Len, a local official said on Tuesday evening.

The teachers immediately took A. to Hoai An District Medical Center for emergency treatment and informed his family of the incident. 

However, A. was determined to have passed away before reaching the medical center at around 12:00 pm the same day.

Authorities are investigating the cause of his death.

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Indian senior executive gets 15 years for embezzling $78,000 in Vietnam



A Vietnamese court has sentenced an Indian man to 15 years in prison for embezzling nearly US$78,000 from a Vietnam-based subsidiary whose parent company is an Indian firm where the man was deputy general director.

Defendant Soumyodiptha Saha, 35, an Indian citizen, received the jail term at his first-instance trial held at the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City on Monday.

The man was found to have appropriated the aforementioned amount from Ho Chi Minh City-based B9 Beverages Co., Ltd., whose parent company is B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd. headquartered in India, according to the indictment.

In 2019, B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd. recruited Saha and appointed him deputy general director in charge of finance affairs, whose duties were to control financial transactions related to the  company’s subsidiaries in other countries, including B9 Beverages Co., Ltd. in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese subsidiary opened an account at Standard Chartered Bank (Vietnam) Limited in Ho Chi Minh City, for its payment transactions, in 2009.

As a senior executive in charge of accounting affairs of this subsidiary, Saha was authorized to approve payments of under $10,000 at his discretion using this account.   

Taking advantage of this privilege, from August 30 to October 28, 2019, Saha transferred a total amount of more than VND1.9 billion ($77,930) worth of 27 transactions from the account to an account held by a Vietnamese woman, Nguyen Song An, at Techcombank in Vietnam.

An left Vietnam in March 2020 via Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City after withdrawing the entire amount in her account. 

When Saha’s act of embezzlement was discovered, the man told investigators that An is his wife and they married in India in 2019.

At the trial, Saha declared that he and his wife were quarreling in January 2020 when he went to Vietnam and revealed to An the origin of the money he had transferred to her.

The man added that they have since lived in separation, without his knowing about her whereabouts. 

Saha told the court that he did not intend to appropriate his company’s money but he only “borrowed” it to help his wife to repay her debts, Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper cited the foreigner as saying.

After Saha was prosecuted, Saha’s mother in India repaid all the appropriated money to the aggrieved party, B9 Vietnam Company, which confirmed the repayment and later filed a petition with the court to waive its claim against the Indian man. 

Judging that the foreigner’s act has seriously violated the rights and interests of B9 Beverages Co., Ltd. that is under the protection of the laws of Vietnam, the trial panel finally decided to impose the 15-year jail term.

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