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More textbooks for first graders face criticism



Some reading practice texts in the Canh Dieu (Kite) textbook on the Vietnamese language have been described as ‘fabricated’ and ‘teaching children laziness and playing tricks’.

The textbook was written by a group of famous authors, headed by Nguyen Minh Thuyet, who is also the chief editor of the new general education program.

More textbooks for first graders face criticism

Some parents said that the story ‘Ve va ga’ (Cicada and cock) cited in the textbook is a fabricated story, because La Fontaine doesn’t have this story as the citation shows.

Meanwhile, ‘Cua, co va dan ca’ (Crab, Stork and Fish) has been criticized as teaching children to tell lies.

The story says that Stork came to see Crab and asked Crab to go fishing with him because no fish were left. Stork persuaded Crab that the lake was very large and there would be many fish to catch. Crab agreed. Stork carried Crab to a small mound. It pecked on Crab. Crab then clamped on Stork’s neck. Stork implored Crab. Crab then forced Stork to take him to the old lake.

As for another text, parents believe that the text about ‘class meeting’ is insignificant to first graders, because only adult people have ‘class reunion meetings’.

Some parents even sent letters to Thuyet, saying that the existence of such content in a textbook for first graders is worrying.

“Man is innately good. I wonder why small children are taught such things like in the story about two horses. What are the purposes of education then?” a parent wrote on an education forum.

“We are teaching children to prevent evil, or teach them to do evil, from a young age? Or do we teach children skills to survive in contemporary society in Vietnam from an early age?” he questioned.

In reply, Thuyet said the authors had their own views when compiling the textbook.

“We worked on it (the textbook) very carefully,” he said.

Regarding the story about two horses, Thuyet said that it was adapted from a story by Leo Tolstoy, the Vietnamese version translated by Thuy Toan. The plot is kept intact. But as the original story is long, the authors decided to divide it in two parts.

“A great writer like Leo Tolstoy never wrote gossip or anti-educational story. The meaning of this story is that if you want others to do something wrong, you will bear the consequences,” Thuyet said.

On the parents’ opinion that the story Crab, Stork and Fish teaches children to become ‘clear in a petty way’, Thuyet said it is from Vietnamese folklore.

“Some people may think that the lesson teaches children to become crafty, but others can learn a lesson and become wary,” he said. 

Le Huyen



Five sentenced to death over drug-related crimes in Vietnam



Five Vietnamese men have been sentenced to death for illicitly selling and transporting drugs.

The People’s Court in the north-central province of Nghe An opened trials against two separate drug-related cases on Thursday.

The first trial involved Hoang Van Hai, 30, Trang A Vu, 28, and Thao A Su, 28, who all hail from the northern province of Bac Kan.

The indictment showed that police in Ky Son District, Nghe An arrested the three men when they were about to catch a coach to Hanoi at 8:00 pm on May 9.

Officers caught them red-handed carrying 20 bricks of heroin and 24 packs of narcotics.

The men claimed to have purchased the stimulants from a seller in Laos and were planning to resell the products in Vietnam for profit.

Hai, Vu, and Su were thus given the death penalty for the illegal transport of narcotics.

The defendants of the second case were Nguyen Van Duan, 40, who resides in Nghe An, and Nguyen Van Hao, 47, who hails from Ho Chi Minh City.

In March, Duan was wanted by Nghe An police for illegal drug sales as he ran away to Ho Chi Minh City.

He met Hao in the southern metropolis, hired the latter to transport drugs from Nghe An to Ho Chi Minh City, and promised to pay him VND20 million (US$865) per kilogram of drugs.

On April 6, Duan returned to Nghe An with $22,500 and bought five kilograms of crystal meth from a Laotian man and asked a local man named Ha to hide the narcotics.

On April 22, Hao was arrested while he was transporting the drugs in Vinh City, Nghe An.

Officers expanded their investigation and apprehended Duan as he was staying in the north-central province.

Both defendants were sentenced to death for their serious offense.

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Truck runs over two school girls in southern Vietnam



Two female students were killed after a collision with a truck on the way to school in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, located in southern Vietnam, on Thursday.

The accident occurred at around 6:30 am on My Xuan – Hoa Binh Street in Phu My Township.

The two victims were identified to be N.T.Y.N. and N.V.X.Q., who were 10th graders of the local Hac Dich High School.

According to surveillance camera footage, N. was driving a motorbike while Q. sat on the back seat.

Meanwhile, the truck, driven by 38-year-old N.V.D., was running in the same direction as their bike.

While trying to overtake the bike, D. slammed the truck’s side into the motorbike handlebar, causing the vehicle to fall and the two students to be run over by the truck’s rear wheels.

The accident scene is seen in this photo. Photo: Manh Kha / Tien Phong

The accident scene is seen in this photo. Photo: Manh Kha / Tien Phong

D. initially fled the accident scene but later turned himself in at the Phu My Township police station.

Local police are further investigating the case.

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HCMC traffic deaths lowest in 20 years: official



HCMC traffic deaths lowest in 20 years: official

Motorbikes hit by a car in HCMC, November 19, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van.

A combination of tough measures and increased public awareness has seen HCMC record its lowest traffic deaths in two decades – 516 in January-November.

In the past three years, the number of traffic accidents and related fatalities has dropped annually, Colonel Huynh Trung Phong, head of the Road and Railway Traffic Police Division of the city’s Police Department, said at a conference Thursday.

Looking back two decades, 2002 was the deadliest year, with 1,410 traffic accident deaths, he said.

The situation has improved because the city has steadfastly and firmly implemented safety measures, including raising public awareness, he said.

HCMC has led the nation in punishing driving under the influence (DUI) violations.

This year, more than 31,000 drivers have been fined for DUI offenses under the Law on Preventing Alcohol’s Harmful Effects that took effect on January 1. Nationwide, more than 156,000 drivers have been fined.

“There have been months when the city handled nearly 14,000 violations, while the nationwide figure was just 53,000,” Phuong said. He said the city would continue to focus on DUI offenses as a main reason for traffic accidents.

Under the new law, any driver with alcohol on his or her breath faces fines of VND400,000-600,000 ($17-26) on bicycles or electric motorbikes. For motorbike drivers, the fines are VND6-8 million, and for cars, VND30-40 million. All drivers can have their licenses revoked for 22-24 months.

Tran Quang Lam, director of the municipal Transport Department, said that since 2016, the city has also invested in a number of traffic infrastructure projects to reduce gridlocks and accidents. As of August this year, it had finished building 72 bridges, upgraded and put into use a total of 384 km (240 miles) of roads. This has helped ease traffic jams in many areas, especially major gateways like the Cat Lai Port in District 2 and the Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

“Access to investment and the time-consuming site clearance process remain the biggest obstacles,” Lam said, explaining that this has led to many traffic infrastructure projects remaining incomplete.

City chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said at the conference that in the past three years, the city has put into use 57 traffic infrastructure projects worth more than VND11 trillion ($473.21 million) in total, which has helped minimize traffic congestion in many areas.

“Despite such efforts, the city’s traffic infrastructure is still put under a lot of pressure due to a significant increase in the number of private vehicles and sidewalks are still prone to encroachment,” he said.

As of June, HCMC had 9.84 million private vehicles, up 7 percent against the same period last year. The number of cars went up 26 percent to 825,000 and that of motorbikes more than 6 percent to 8.12 million. From 2010, the number of private vehicles in the city has increased by more than four million.

Officials said at the meeting that from now until 2025, the city needs to continue with the measures it has been implementing in order to reduce the number of traffic accidents by 5 percent each year.


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