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Hanoi allows students to return to school next month



K-12 students in Hanoi will be back to school next Tuesday, while university students and learners of other educational institutions will return the following week.

According to the decision of the municipal People’s Committee, K-12 students will return to school on March 2, while university students and other learners will resume their normal classes on March 8.

The city’s Department of Education and Training, Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, and Department of Health were tasked with carrying out COVID-19 prevention and control measures to prepare for the back-to-school dates.

Local schools have been required to disinfect all classrooms and facilities prior to March 1, as well as preparing soap, hand sanitizer, face masks, and electronic thermometers to ensure safety for students, teachers, and staff members.

The Hanoi administration previously ordered all students to switch to remote learning from February 17 until the end of the month due to the complicated COVID-19 pandemic.

As the city has not documented any local infection for multiple days, the municipal Department of Education and Training proposed that students be allowed to go back to school in early March.

The city is also expected to lift a lockdown on the final location on March 1.

Vietnam has recorded 2,423 COVID-19 cases as of Sunday morning, with 1,844 recoveries and 35 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

A total of 837 community-based infections have been reported in the country since January 27.

Among them, 35 were detected in Hanoi.

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This one-legged Vietnamese student is painting her future



Determined not to let her disability stop her from reaching her goals, Nguyen Thi Cam Nhung, from Ben Tre Province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, is pushing herself toward a bright future regardless of the hardships life throws at her.

Students at Ton Duc Thang University, located in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, have gotten used to the girl with one leg making her way to class on weekdays.

Nhung is a first-year student of the industrial arts faculty.

Before her accident while playing, she was a boisterous child like any other.

The serious fall broke the upper bones of her right leg but the injury was taken lightly until complications developed a few months later.

Examinations showed abnormal swelling in the leg, which later turned out to be a large tumor.

The little girl’s life was derailed when her leg joints were immediately disarticulated to avoid tissue necrosis in the leg.

Instead of frolicking around just like her peers, Nhung would wind up spending the majority of her early childhood with limited mobility.

The young girl refused to give up learning to walk with crutches, despite the countless bruises and scratches she accrued from falling, and was finally able to walk on her own.

After Nhung finished middle school, her family decided she would sit out high school and find a manual job that does not require much mobility instead.

The girl’s education was spared thanks to her 9th-grade homeroom teacher, who signed her up for Doan Thi Diem High School, located in Thanh Phu District, Ben Tre Province in the Mekong Delta, without the family’s knowledge.

Toward the end of her high school years, Nhung again found herself at a crossroads when her family tried to advise her against moving to Ho Chi Minh City to attend college.

Her parents expressed doubts regarding how she would face struggles alone, take care of herself away from home, and how to use less disabled-friendly public transport.

The thought that left Nhung most nervous at this critical point was if she would be able to land a job that matches her mental ability as well as physical disability.

Her final decision made, she did her best in her studies and was admitted to Ton Duc Thang University, where she took her first steps toward a brighter future.

“I’ll look for a suitable job to cover part of my tuition fees and gain new experiences,” said Nguyen Thi Cam Nhung (right). Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

‘I’ll look for a suitable job to cover part of my tuition fees and gain new experiences,’ said Nguyen Thi Cam Nhung (right). Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

“I decided to pursue my education to the very end,” Nhung said.

“I want to be independent and determine my own future.

“There’re so many places I want to visit and so many things I want to learn.

“I’ll try to exceed my limits and won’t let my impairment hold me back.”

Nhung showed her painting talent quite early in her life, and art helps take away sorrows and gives back love and positive vibes while connecting her to the outside world.

When it was time to choose majors in college, she followed her passion, believing she is cut out for the job, which might not involve a lot of traveling.

Except for the beginning when her father took her to Ho Chi Minh City and helped her complete admission procedures, the physically challenged girl always tries to handle everything on her own.

When she has classes, she hops from the school dormitory, where she stays, to the halls and classrooms within the school campus, one of the city’s largest and most modern-looking.

“Now I can go anywhere within the campus,” Nhung shared proudly, adding she just needs to take an occasional rest during the long walks.

“I can reach the second floors on foot but have to use the elevator for higher ones.”

Though she just took some fundamental courses and hand-drawn painting classes in her first year, the student is well aware of hurdles ahead.

Nhung’s father, who earns a meager income as a construction worker, and her homemaking mother struggle to afford education for her and her two younger siblings.

Refusing to let her disability and poverty get in the way of realizing her dreams, Nhung forces herself to face her situation head-on while trying to save as much as she can.

As she is still unable to buy a laptop, she often borrows her friends’ or uses computers at the school libraries, also some of the city’s most well-equipped and modern, for homework.

“I’ll look for a suitable job to cover part of my tuition fees and gain new working experiences,” Nhung shared.

Nguyen Duc Hong Quang, a lecturer of the university’s faculty of industrial arts, pays special attention to Nhung during the two courses she took with him.

According to Quang, art-related fields have seen relatively fierce competition and high requirements in recent years.  

The road will even be much bumpier for students with disabilities like Nhung, he said.

“Challenges can sometimes motivate us to keep moving forward and gain unexpected accomplishments,” Quang noted.

“Nhung should keep up her persistence and determination if she is to succeed.”

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Hanoi man runs library to offer free English books to children to promote creativity



A local man is operating a free-of-charge library in Hanoi, satisfying the reading needs of everybody and creating a convenient space for its visitors to communicate in English.

The library, situated on Kim Ma Street in Ba Dinh District, was launched in early 2020 by 40-year-old Nguyen Thanh Trung, who is also called Harry Trung Nguyen.

Trung founded an English training center right above the library and uses income from the English teaching to maintain his free facility, which he named Mia Bookhouse.

Nguyen Thanh Trung (right) introduces books to visitors at his free library in Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. Photo: Hien Huyen / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Thanh Trung (right) introduces books to visitors at his free library in Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. Photo: Hien Huyen / Tuoi Tre

The library’s founder enthusiastically welcomes every visitor and assists them in choosing books to read.

Mia Bookhouse now has more than 1,000 English books and a small number of books in German that he has collected during his travel to more than 50 countries.

In addition, books in Vietnamese may also be found there.

“This library model has been cherished by my love for my little daughter Mia,” Trung said, adding that imbuing children with a habit of reading, especially in those under six, will help promote their development of language, creativity, and imagination.

With an aim to make it convenient for children, Trung designed his Mia Bookhouse uniquely, with box-shaped bookshelves and seats being the steps of the wooden staircase connecting the lower and upper parts of the library.

Young people read books at Mia Bookhouse, which offers books in diverse fields. Photo: Hien Huyen / Tuoi Tre

Young people read books at Mia Bookhouse, which offers free books in diverse fields, in Hanoi. Photo: Hien Huyen / Tuoi Tre

Trung went to Russia and Germany with his family during his childhood and he later visited many other countries.

His love for travel and his long working in the tourism sector have developed in him a habit of collecting English books from every country he visited.

“I especially love children and I pay special attention to learning foreign languages, so I want to create a space for everybody to naturally develop foreign language skills,” Trung shared.

The library is currently open every Saturday and Sunday morning.

It is staffed by teachers who can guide everybody in choice of books and can communicate in English with every visitor, creating a venue for everyone to use or practice their English skills.

Books for children here have been selected carefully to ensure they are attractive, interesting, and useful to them, Trung said, adding that he is directly involved in the selection.

English books for children are selected carefully to ensure they are attractive and useful to them. Photo: Hien Huyen / Tuoi Tre

English books for children are selected carefully to ensure they are attractive and useful to them. Photo: Hien Huyen / Tuoi Tre

Trung said he initially created this library to provide English books for children, but he later thought it may be extended to people of different ages.

He has therefore added to Mia Bookhouse a lot of books in various fields, such as literature, history, science, economics, and nature, to satisfy the diverse demands of every book enthusiasts.

The man has also collected many famous works that are hard to buy as they were published in limited quantities.

Trung has recently set up his second free library in the capital, on Nguy Nhu Kon Tum Street in Thanh Xuan District.

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Vietnamese students win gold at regional skill competition



Following their great efforts during a two-day competition, two members of the Vietnamese team won the gold medal at the Asia-Pacific Online Mechatronics Skills Competition that wrapped up on Thursday.

The event attracted candidates from six countries, including Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

“Unlike the previous global and ASEAN mechatronic skills contests, this competition is focused more on programming than on mechanical installation,” said Nguyen Van Tan, one of the two winners and a student of the Hanoi Electromechanical College.

The contest’s requirements referred to flexible shifts between systems, making them similar to the actual production lines of factories, Tan added.

Dinh Tu Ngoc, Tan’s teammate, said the two contestants had to program five production stations in Exam 1, which included the industrial robot arm deployment.

Within 120 minutes, they were required to abandon the 4th station and change the locations of the other four stations in Exam 2, which was the hardest.

“We later entered Exam 3, in which we had to operate these four stations to meet a different manufacturing process,” Ngoc said.    

This competition is a playground for strong opponents that often won high rankings in previous mechatronic contests, as commented by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Duong Duc Lan, president of the Vietnam Association of Vocational Training and Social Work Profession.

“Among them are Korea, Japan, and particular Singapore whose team are very good at foreign languages,” Dr. Lan added.

Therefore, Vietnam’s success at the Asia-Pacific Online Mechatronics Skills Competition has clearly reflected the country’s competitiveness in the Industry 4.0 era in comparison to those of other Southeast Asian and Asian countries, Dr. Lan concluded.

Following this victory, the Vietnamese team is looking to the World Skills Competition scheduled to take place in China’s Shanghai next year.

It is the first time that such a competition has been conducted online, under the organization of Germany’s Festo, a world leader in automation, technical training and development, as introduced on its website. 

Mechatronics, which is seen as a typical profession of the Industry 4.0 era, is a combination of mechanics, electronics and information technology. Mechatronics technologies help create highly automated production lines as well as precise products to improve labor productivity.

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