Crowds hail teachers at annual ceremony

The city Party Committee’s Standing Deputy Secretary Nguyen Van Dua (second, R) and Sai Gon Giai Phong ( first , R ) Chief Editor Tran The Tuyen hand out Vo Truong Toan Prizes to teachers at the Opera House in Ho Chi Minh City on November 18 (Photo: SGGP)

Cheers erupted at the Ho Chi Minh Opera House on November 18 as 30 local teachers were honored with the prestigious 2009-2010 Vo Truong Toan Prize for excellence in education.

Throngs of beaming teachers and students filled the hall for the occasion including some eager students who arrived before the Opera House had even opened.

After waiting patiently, they rushed inside to secure a prime location from which to view their “strict, yet fair” teacher Le Thi Nhung. Calling out continuously, the students cheered on their teacher throughout the event.

Staff and students from junior high school Nguyen Huu Tho in District 7, including teacher Kim Loan, arrived late due to traffic congestion. They sat on the floor to watch their beloved colleague and teacher accept her award. Before she arrived, teachers watching the sold-out event on TV phoned continuously to ask why Ms. Loan was not on stage.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Hua Ngoc Thuan spoke highly of the teachers who overcome daily hardships to devote their lives to teaching. Ms. Truong Thi Thanh from Vang Anh Preschool in District 8 has taught tirelessly for 21 years despite the many challenges of the career.

Local songwriter Nguyen Van Ty composed a song about the plight of such teachers as many spend up to 12 hours at school each day for very little pay. At home, some teachers spend their rare free moments building toys for the students from scraps.

Veteran Nguyen Van Dung has been teaching for 20 years fighting the “enemy of illiteracy” while blind teacher Nguyen Van Thanh instructs at the special Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the blind.

Students from the Nguyen Dinh Chieu school for the blind lined up to enter the Opera House in HCM City on November 18 (Photo: SGGP)

Le Van Hong from the Le Hong Phong school for gifted students said he would offer his award to the Learning Encouragement Association in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre.

Meanwhile math teacher Luong Anh Van of secondary school Nguyen Gia Thieu in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh District said that teaching is like an invaluable spiritual medicine for him to overcome the difficulties of life and disease.

Teacher Nguyen Van Thanh said he was overjoyed when his students, who have severe mobility problems, arrived at the Opera House to congratulate him. His wife and six-month-old baby watched Thanh receive his award on television in HCMC’s Cu Chi District.

Attending the ceremony, Prudential Vietnam CEO Jack Howell said that while he has been in Vietnam for only a short time, he commends the country for its reverence of teachers. 

Also attending the ceremony was the city Party Committee’s Standing Deputy Secretary Nguyen Van Dua, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Hua Ngoc Thuan Do Quoc Anh, manager of the HCMC office of Ministry of Education and Training, and Huynh Cong Minh, director of HCM City’s Department of Education and Training.

Related articles:
Teachers honored for dedication through adversity
SGGP to confer Vo Truong Toan Prize on 30 teachers

By Hong Lien, Tieu Ha - translated by Bao Uyen

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