Oct 14, 2012

Vietnam - The land which is rich in assets, poor in education

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VietNamNet Bridge – In many cases, the improvement in the current assets does not always mean the improvement in intellectual property. In many localities with high living standards, people still have low education levels.

The Tam Di commune in Luc Nam district of Bac Giang province, a poor land in the thoughts of old people, has become very rich thanks to a “new career” – going to work abroad under the labor export programs.

“Teacher, how much is a high school degree?” This was the question many students and their parents in Tam Di raised to a local teacher.

The rich commune…

Tam Di is considered a rich locality in the district. There are some 4000 households in Tam Di commune which has the average income of 10 billion dong a month, sourced from kieu hoi – i.e. the money remitted by the people working abroad to their relatives in Tam Di.

The average income was once even higher. Dao Van Quang, Deputy Chair of the commune people’s committee, said some years ago, local residents received 15 billion dong a month. However, in the global economic crisis, the labor export markets have been narrowed, which has resulted in the income decrease to 10 billion dong.

The movement of going working abroad was kicked off tens of years ago in Tam Di. According to the local authorities, more than 2500 people are working in tens of countries all over the world, from South Korea, Taiwan, Japan to Angola, Cyprus, Arab and Lybia. Tam Di’s people seem to be present in most of the labor export markets.

Tam Di is located tens of kilometers far from the district’s center. With the current bad transport infrastructure, it’s very hard to travel to Tam Di. However, the center of the commune is so bustling like a town, with all kinds of services available. A lot of multi-storey buildings have arisen, while the land price has also been escalating.

… where there are children who don’t go to school

The Tam Di 1 Secondary School looks so poorly furnished if compared with the multi-storey buildings around. There are three main blocks in the school, but only a two-storey block comprising of eight classrooms look good enough for students to stay in. Meanwhile, the majority of students have to sit in the classrooms in very bad conditions.

Pham Duy Dan, Headmaster of the Tam Di 1 School, said there are 376 students in 14 classes at the school. Due to the lack of classrooms, the students have to go to school in shifts.

“We really feel ashamed when we are always the last in the districts in terms of the learning and teaching achievements. In 2011, only 30 percent of the school’s students passed the entrance exams to state owned high schools,” Dan said, adding that the figures were nearly the same or lower in the years before.

In principle, when people have better living standards, they would spend not only on daily food, but on other things as well. Well off families would spend more money to fund their children’s education.

However, this is not the thing occurring in Tam Di. Most of the parents here do not care about their children’s education. Especially, many of them believe that no need to go to school to earn money.

A teacher of the Tam Di 1 School related that when a student showed the secondary school degree, his parents asked: “Will the degree be able to replace the Korean language certificate?”

Here in Tam Di, people would rather to spend time to learn South Korean language, so that they can get a job in South Korea, rather than wasting time to go to school just for the useless degrees.

Tien Phong

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