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Ho Chi Minh City middle school applauded for disciplining students with book reading



The practice of having students involved in fights read morality books at a middle school in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City is commanding positive public attention.

Rather than suspending students involved in fights, Nguyen Van Troi Middle School makes them spend recess in the school library reading ethical books within two weeks, according to Trinh Vinh Thanh, head of the Go Vap education and training division. 

Teachers supervise the reading sessions and such students are required to write their reflections on each book.

After the two-week period, on Mondays, the students will take turns sharing moral stories from the books they read in front of the entire school.

“The school refrains from suspending students’ studies, as this approach lacks public approval and is not endorsed by educational experts,” said Thanh.

Expressing his perspective, Thanh remarked that at this age, students often exhibit a mentality geared toward seeking attention, sometimes resorting to negative actions such as engaging in fights and broadcasting these brawling events online. 

“Why not create positive avenues for children to express themselves?” Thanh said. 

“It’s a way to help them self-regulate their behavior.”

Students, teachers favor the approach

“I comprehend that if students engage in fights, they are breaching school rules and will undoubtedly face consequences,” said Truong Cong Gia Khanh, an 11th-grade student in Tan Binh District.

“However, between the two options of a two-week suspension or reading morality books during recess for the same duration, I believe the latter is a more effective approach.”

According to Khanh, students of all backgrounds, whether high-achievers or struggling learners, tend to relish missing school. 

Either exemplary students or those who struggle academically share this sentiment. 

“When the schedule indicates classes but the school announces the teacher’s unavailability, the entire class would applaud and cheer,” the student stated.

“For those who are disinclined to study and lean toward disruptive behavior, the prospect of being suspended from school serves as a reward rather than a punishment.”

The case of a female student in District 12 a few years ago was a prominent example as she shared an unexpected revelation about being expelled from school due to a fight, stating, “The school expelled me, and that’s exactly what I wanted.”

According to Tran Hong Lan, a literature teacher in District 6, the suspension of students, who are not studying well, poses a challenge for them to keep up with the curriculum. 

Lan expressed her endorsement, stating Nguyen Van Troi Middle School’s approach is both humane and effective, aligning with student psychology.

“Students should continue attending school regularly to avoid missing lessons while simultaneously facing consequences for their misbehavior,” the teacher said. 

“I highly value the disciplinary method of reading moral books. 

“It’s a form of discipline that should be emulated.”

Adding to the discussion, Nguyen Hoang Ha, a 12th-grade student in District 1, suggested that schools and teachers carefully choose high-quality ethics books to achieve the desired effect of the reading discipline. 

“At our age, we tend to be less receptive to adult advice while not all content in books is accurate,” Ha said. 

“In fact, some books can be overly dogmatic, leading to boredom after just a few pages. 

“Moral books should consist of convincing practical stories rather than dictating what young people should or should not do.”

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Vietnamese high school principal’s enthusiastic greeting on first day goes viral on social media



A video capturing the spirited moment of a high school principal, dressed in a white shirt, standing in the schoolyard and wholeheartedly applauding and welcoming every student on the inaugural day of his new role in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, has garnered significant attention on social media.

The video began circulating on social media on Friday last week, marking the first day that Le Trieu Son took on the role of principal at Hai Ba Trung High School in Hue City, Thua Thien-Hue Province.

Numerous teachers at the school were surprised to witness the new principal standing and warmly greeting each student, a scene that also took many students aback.

Following the school drum signaling the commencement of the school day, Son took advantage of the 15-minute bellwork period in each class to visit every classroom, extending personal greetings to students and homeroom teachers.

During these visits, Son humbly introduced himself to the students and teachers, saying, “I have been assigned by the Department of Education and Training of Thua Thien Hue Province to serve as the school principal, and today marks the beginning of my job.”

“I hope you will join hands with me to transform this hundred-year-old school into a happy place.” 

In response to the principal’s sincerity, many students expressed interest and asked to shake hands with him.

Le Trieu Son visits every classroom on the first day of his new role as the principal at Hai Ba Trung High School in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, December 1, 2023. Photo: Anh Thu / Tuoi Tre

Le Trieu Son visits every classroom on the first day of his new role as the principal at Hai Ba Trung High School in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, December 1, 2023. Photo: Anh Thu / Tuoi Tre

Son, confirming the incident to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, said that he extended this personal greeting not only to morning classes but also to afternoon classes on Friday. 

Reflecting on the motivation behind his actions, Son explained that upon arriving at the school, he noticed the hurried faces of students rushing to their classes. 

In response, he headed to the schoolyard, greeted the students, and reminded them to walk slowly to avoid tumbles.

“I remained standing to welcome the students until the start of the class,” Son said. 

“Subsequently, I visited every classroom to personally meet with all the students and their respective homeroom teachers throughout the entire school.

“The fulfillment of my assigned tasks at this school hinges on the cooperation and engagement of the students.”

The Department of Education and Training in Thua Thien Hue Province has designated Son, the former principal of Gia Hoi High School in Hue City, as the new principal of Hai Ba Trung High School.

This decision comes in the aftermath of Ngo Duc Thuc’s resignation due to financial management violations.

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UK government scholarship recipients train Vietnamese students in clean energy



Luu Nguyen Nguyet Minh, an alumnus of the UK government’s Chevening Scholarship Program, is working alongside a cohort of her fellow Chevening alumni to promote the shift to renewable energy in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region.

Last weekend, the group hosted a two-day training program for 9th graders at Doan Thi Diem Middle School in Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho City.

The program, named ‘Enhancing Awareness of Renewable Energy Toward Achieving Zero Net Emissions in the Mekong Delta,’ brought several Chevening scholars and local experts together to teach the participants about simple renewable energy models.

Minh, a Can Tho native, has spent the better part of her academic and professional life working to create positive changes in the Mekong Delta region.

“The project brings together Chevening alumni, young engineers, and lecturers from Can Tho University,” Minh said. “Young people in the Mekong Delta, especially in Can Tho, have the ability and passion to build a sustainable and healthy delta.”

During the training program, Nguyen Thi Anh Thu, a Chevening scholar who specializes in environmental and energy studies, spent time teaching the participants about energy, including different sources of energy and actions they can take within their families and schools to implement renewable energy and efficient energy-saving practices.

Thu specifically focused on the Mekong Delta’s abundance of wind as a clean, renewable energy source for the region.

Contributing to the project, Bui Minh Duc, a construction engineer in Can Tho, along with a team of experts, built a visual model depicting four systems of renewable energy production.

According to Duc, the model allows students to visualize the basic principles of generating electricity from renewable sources. The students also wrote down the ideas for their own model and presented them in English.

The model will eventually be donated to the school so that it can continue to be used to inspire the transition to renewable energy.

On December 11, a convoy from the British Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City will visit the school to present awards to the teams who participated in a solar energy-powered mini vehicle design competition.

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Vietnam university awards honorary doctorate to S.Korean province governor



The University of Social Sciences and Humanities under the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday awarded an honorary doctorate to Lee Cheol Woo, governor of North Gyeongsang Province in eastern South Korea for his contributions to the friendship between the East Asian country and Vietnam.

Speaking at a ceremony to give the doctorate, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Minh Tam, vice-president of the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City, hailed Lee’s assistance, informing that Lee had received many medals and prizes, including the Order for the Hongjo Geunjeong Medal, the Proud Korean Grand Prize, and the grand prize for Proud Koreans Who Shined for Korea.

He promoted the establishment of the Saemaul Globalization Foundation in Vietnam.

Activities of the foundation and the Center for Rural Development – Saemaul Undong have helped foster Vietnam’s socio-economic development, which has been recognized by many Vietnamese localities.

Saemaul Undong is also known as the New Community Movement, a political initiative launched in 1970 to modernize the rural South Korean economy.

“Through the operations of the foundation and the Saemaul movement, North Gyeongsang Province governor Lee has helped with increasingly tightening the Vietnam – South Korea relations,” Tam said.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ngo Thi Phuong Lan, rector of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, said Lee had contributed significantly to the local community through the Center for Rural Development – Saemaul Undong’s activities.

Lan added that Lee would continue making great contributions to the currently strong Vietnam – South Korea relations.

“It’s my great honor and pride to receive the honorary doctorate from the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City, which is known as the largest university in Vietnam and the cradle of many talents of the country,” Lee remarked at the ceremony.

He added he used to be a teacher and has more than 40 years of working in the National Diet of Japan and then the North Gyeongsang Province administration.

“I get a new feeling when standing here because Vietnamese educators recognized my efforts and achievements from my contributions to human prosperity through the Saemaul movement,” Lee shared.

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