Nov 22, 2012

Vietnam - Venerating teachers is the students’ obligation?

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VietNamNet Bridge – A high percentage of Vietnamese students nowadays believe that teachers need to be grateful to them, because they bring money to teachers which can feed teachers’ families. And this has been described as the shame of the Vietnamese education.

On a well-known students’ forum, a person with the nickname openseason2 held an opinion poll on the role of the teachers in the modern times. The question raised was: why teachers need to be respected?, while there were two options 1) students need to be grateful to teachers, because it is the obligation and 2) teachers need to be grateful to students because teachers would not have money without students.

The poll attracted 1000 visitors and more than 70 comments from the community. Surprisingly, 40 percent of people chose the option two, i.e. teachers need to be grateful to students, because teachers live on students’ money.

“If we don’t have teachers, we will still live. But teachers won’t be able to live without students,” openseason2 commented.

“Why do we still have to owe teachers a debt of gratitude, if we pay for their teaching?” he continued. When someone pays others for their services, they are not indebted to the others any more.

Though this is just a mini survey with a small coverage, its result still has raised a wave of anger.

Vietnamese students have always been told that venerating teachers is ex officio to everyone. This is simply an obligation, and no one would have doubts about if they should show the deep gratitude to their teachers. This can partially explain why Vietnam is the only country in the world which has the Teachers’ Day to glory the teachers’ credit for their devotion to the national education.

And this has also explained why the 40 percent people choosing the option two have been criticized heavily.

“openseason2 is really ill bred. I cannot understand his understanding,” nickname Dorry wrote.

“I wonder if he is a human being. If he is, why can’t he feel the affection and gratitude between teachers and students?” Hector_II wrote.

Dang Cong Hanh, a student of the Vietnam-South Korea Friendship Information Technology Junior College, replied to openseason2: “How can you complain about the persons who have grown you up? Will you still live without teachers? You need to grow up into useful citizens to the society, not simply into a big baby. Therefore, you need teachers.”

“Venerating teachers is the long lasting tradition of Vietnamese people,” he commented.

Lovemytalili2 from Hanoi said that she understands well how hard teachers have to work, because she is now also a teacher.

“Now I am a tutor. I have six small students. I get nearly exhausted every time when I finish a lesson. Therefore, I have realized how hard the teachers have to work when dealing with tens of students at the same time,” she wrote.

“Why do you still need to be grateful to teachers, even though you have to pay tuitions? The answer is very simple: because teachers not only provide knowledge, but they also teach how to become real men,” she continued.

However, many people have raised their voice to defense openseason2. buiphan wrote, that a lot of teachers have been living on students, including poor students.

Students have to pay “underground fees” to be eligible for becoming students of the schools for the gifted. A lot of teachers demand “envelops with money inside” on the Vietnamese Teachers’ Day, or they would give bad marks to students.

“In order to be respected by students, teachers need to be respectable,” he said.

Compiled by C. V

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