In Viet Nam, parents wait in frenzied anticipation for year-end reports on their little angels’ test scores and behaviour at school.
Tan Thuan 1 Primary School and Secondary School
Hundreds of parents and students attending a ceremony to mark the end of the school-year in Tan Thuan 1 Primary School and Secondary School in Kien Giang Province’s Vinh Thuan District were surprised when no students were awarded certificates of merit.
Had all the students failed their exams? Was Tan Thuan 1 more of a borstal than school?
The answer is much simpler and more shocking in a society so dedicated to efficient organisation; the school didn’t have a headmaster or staff to sign the certificates.
Vu Thi Niem had been headmaster from August 2011 but was let go in July 2016. According to Niem, Vinh Thuan District People’s Committee knew she would be leaving from May 5 last year but failed to hire a replacement.
Le Thanh Tai, whose son is in 8th grade at school, said his family was looking forward to seeing his child’s certificate of merit.
Headmaster Vu Thi Niem
No parents were informed about the incident beforehand, Tai was quoted by Youth newspaper as saying.
Earlier, in November last year, Niem was punished for the school’s poor financial management. She received a warning from the district’s People’s Committee, which was cancelled on appeal in March this year.
Better late than never, the district’s Education and Training Department said students would receive awards at the beginning of the new school-year and promised to appoint a headmaster soon.
Still, many are shaking their heads at district authorities, as failing to reward hard working students means they’re like a school in summer: no class.