Recalling books for children with Chinese flags

On March 6 afternoon, the Ministry of Education and Training asked the relevant organs to review the use of a book for Vietnamese five-year-old pupils with pictures of the Chinese national flag instead of the Vietnamese one, because it is inconsistent with the preschool program of the Ministry of education and Training of Vietnam.

A written directive from the Department of Education also urges people not to buy and use this book; anyone if already purchased, should promptly return the books.

The circulation of the above mentioned books relating to develop comprehensive intelligence for young children, product of the Dan Tri Publishing House has sparked outrage among public opinion in recent days

This book provided by Chinese Early Childhood Education Department and was translated into Vietnamese and published by Dan Tri publishing house.

Page 16 of the book, titled “Improving preschoolers’ intelligence comprehensively” by Dan Tri Publisher, features a picture in which the Chinese national flag is hung on the roof of a school.

The picture is high quality, and even a 5-year-old can recognize that “something is wrong with the flag.”

According to Bui Thi Huong, the director of Dan Tri Publisher, the book is the translated, copyrighted version of a Chinese original.

Huong asserted that under the terms of the contract, her company and Huong Thuy Co., the distributor, had to retain the original text and pictures.

“The original is designed for the Chinese education system, so the Chinese flag must be hung. I don’t see anything wrong with that,” Huong elaborated.

However, regarding the preface line that states, “The book is designed based on the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training’s kindergarten education,” Huong said
“Perhaps the distributor later added that sentence to boost sales”.

Huong admitted that the preface and lack of annotation on the book’s origin does lead clients to assume that the book is made in Vietnam.

Public opinion does not accept Huong’s arguments. People voiced their concern over the incident, and many of them called for the confiscation, revision and even abolition of the book.

“I think such a book, which the publisher and distributor clearly note is designed for Vietnamese kids in accordance with Vietnamese education, is supposed to have content and pictures suitable for Vietnamese kids. The Chinese flag certainly shouldn’t be there,” said Pham Tat Dong, vice chairman of Vietnam Education Promotion Association.

“We’re totally unaware of this book, as Dan Tri didn’t consult us. The company must be held accountable for it,” said Ngo Thi Hop, head of the Ministry of Education and Training’s Kindergarten Education Office.

“With the sentence, ‘Professors from prestigious schools recommend this book’ on the cover and the preface, I’m sure every reader will think that this book is designed in Vietnam, or at least is adapted from a Western original to suit Vietnamese education and culture. This is a blatant fraud,” Hop noted.

In this case, it should be noted that when the press discovered the book printed with the picture of a Chinese flag at the school gate, that is wrong, she added.

According to a provision in the contract signed between Dan Tri publishing House with the Chinese counterpart the Vietnamese side has right to modify the contents in accordance with the requirements of the issuer.

Therefore, Dan Tri publisher said that it respect for the copy rights and kept intact the Chinese origin with the picture of the Chinese flag on the school gate, it is not acceptable, she stressed.

Nguyen Thanh Giang, Director of Huong Thuy Culture Ltd ( affiliate with Dan Tri Publishing House) - the company that printed and sold this book has acknowledged error in censorship.

The company has recalled 1,000 copies and informed their parents to return the book and they  will be refunded, he added 

Source SGGP, translated by MT

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