August 02, 2014 02:25 UTC

Education

Vietnamese Man Wants a “Book Revolution” in his Country

Read, listen and learn English with this story. Double-click on any word to find the definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary.

Three school children use books borrowed from a library established by philanthropist Nguyen Quang Thach
Three school children use books borrowed from a library established by philanthropist Nguyen Quang Thach

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report in Special English.
 
A Vietnamese man hopes to raise the quality of education in his country by building “parent libraries” in rural schools. Nguyen Quang Thach provides libraries to the schools so books are more available in farming communities. He works with publishers in Hanoi to get the books at reduced rates for teachers and their students.
 
Mr. Thach says most schools have enough textbooks. But he says many poor families have few books at home and do not visit school libraries. He learned this by talking with farmers, workers and students. 
 
More than 90 percent of Vietnam’s population can read and write. But academic performance in the schools remains low compared to other Southeast Asian nations. Corruption is a big part of the problem. Vietnamese media often have stories about teachers giving high grades in exchange for money.
 
Some experts criticize teaching methods that depend heavily on dictation. They say asking students to repeat everything a teacher says to the class harms their ability to think for themselves.  
 
Nguyen Quang Thach says he wants people to invest money in books for a better future. To date, almost 1,000 parent libraries have been built in Thai Binh  Province. Hundreds of books are in each one. Several other provinces have copied this model.
 
For each school, Mr. Thach helps build libraries for up to four classes. Other people then follow his example. Parents of school children pay three dollars each for the first year and one dollar in other years.
 
The head of the AnDuc secondary school, Pham Duc Duong, told reporter Marianne Brown that Mr. Thach’s work has improved the quality of education.
 
“He says students have been doing better in competitions, especially in social science.”
 
Duong Le Nga heads the school youth group. She says that after the libraries were built, students started asking teachers more questions. The students also set up debating teams. She thinks Mr. Thach’s example helps student think more creatively -- “outside the box.”
 
The deputy head of the school, Uong Minh Thanh, says many students there will work in factories. But after seeing the influence of the new libraries, he hopes the children will set high goals for themselves.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JANG from: Thailand
12/16/2012 3:59 PM
I think that education is very important to developing countries.This book is an important to help children receive the knowledge. So, I hope that Vietnamese education will be better in the future.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
12/15/2012 1:52 AM
I'm sorry but it is a bit unbiguous for me what parent library means. It means parents pay for buying books for building school libraries? Or pay for using libraries? Do parents also visit school libraries? What means "build libraries for up to four classes"?

In Response

by: ngoan from: austria
12/16/2012 2:16 PM
Hi, It means that the parents of children pay little money (only 3$ first year and 1$ another years) to contribute in buying books in the library. In Vietnam, most of libraries have been set up by school or state's fund. By this way, there is much more money to invest on books and also promote the children to read books.

In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
12/17/2012 10:20 AM
Hi ngoan, thank you for your answer. Now I understand Vietnamese parents contribute to school library by paying money in each school. Thank you.


by: John Woo
12/14/2012 11:55 PM
As mentioned in the report, corruption is a big part of many kind of problems in developing countiers such as China and other Southeast Asian nations.
There would be no good business and economy with corruption.

In Response

by: Duc Anh from: Ha Noi
12/16/2012 9:44 AM
are you John Wood who created "Room to read"?


by: Adriana from: Brazil
12/14/2012 11:30 AM
Books are part of the way for a better education. Congratulations!


by: LinhTrongle from: VietNam
12/14/2012 9:24 AM
Nguyen Quang Thach says he wants people to invest money in books for a better future. To date, almost 1,000 parent libraries have been built in Thai Benh Province. Hundreds of books are in each one. Several other provinces have copied this model.
-----------------
Nguyen Quang Thach says he wants people to invest money in books for a better future. To date, almost 1,000 parent libraries have been built in Thai Binh Province. Hundreds of books are in each one. Several other provinces have copied this model.


by: Thao from: Ho Chi Minh City
12/14/2012 6:27 AM
Education plays an important role in developing a country, so I hope that Vietnamese education will be better in the future...


by: Phuong Nga from: Vietnam
12/14/2012 2:35 AM
There is a mistake in this article. There is not any "Thai Benh province" in Vietnam.


by: Viet
12/14/2012 2:09 AM
The name of province is misspell. It should be "Thai Binh" not "Thai Benh"

Learn with The News

  • A Palestinian woman reacts upon seeing her destroyed house in Beit Hanoun town, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and airstrikes during an Israeli offensive in the northern Gaza Strip, August 1, 2014.

    Audio Is the World a Mess?

    A former top U.S. diplomat blamed the complexity of recent world events on what she called two “game changers.” They are the behavior of Russia’s president and political unrest in the Middle East. | In The News More

  • Travel-Trip-5 Free Things Seattle

    Audio Americans Test Seawater for Fukushima Radiation

    It has been more than three years since the nuclear accident at the Fukushima power station in Japan. Millions of liters of radioactive cooling water from the power center poured into the Pacific Ocean. Experts predicted some of that water would reach the West Coast of North America this year. More

  • Palestinians react following what witnesses said was heavy Israeli shelling, at a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 1, 2014.  A Gaza ceasefire crumbled only hours after it began on Friday, with at least 40 Palestinians killed by Israeli

    Audio Gaza Cease-fire Collapses, Israeli Soldier Believed Captured

    The Israeli military says one of its soldiers has been captured by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. That is where a temporary cease-fire collapsed not long after it began on Friday. More

  • Audio American Ebola Victim to be Brought to US

    An American infected with the Ebola virus in West Africa is returning to the United States. The unnamed aid worker will receive treatment at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Doctors have been able to keep some people alive if they get immediate treatment in a hospital. More

  • An African student (C) practices moves as other Shaolin martial arts students look on during the inauguration ceremony of a martial arts training program for African students, at the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, Henan province, China, Sept. 25, 2013.

    Audio More Africans Seek Education in China

    Tens of thousands of Africans are studying in China. The country provides students with financial assistance for education to develop skills that Africa needs most. And the system makes friends in Africa for the Chinese. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Artist Turns Plastic Bags Into Art

    Making art with found materials is not a new idea. An artist near Washington, D.C. just had her recycled art on exhibit at the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center in Maryland. She uses a material found in every American home. Plastic bags. More

  • Many Southerners approved the decision. But northern abolitionists spoke strongly against it.

    Audio Dred Scott Ruling Opens the Whole Country to Slavery

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress had no power to ban slavery in the new territories. The 1857 decision involved a man named Dred Scott. More

  • Medical Marijuana Kids

    Audio Marijuana Helps Children with Epilepsy

    People who support legalization of marijuana say some kinds of the plant offer extraordinary help for human health. For example, one kind of medical marijuana is reported to ease effects of epilepsy, a disease of the nervous system. More

  • Polar Bears Arctic 2006

    Audio From Birds to Bears, Animals Face Danger Around the World

    Hundreds of newly-identified plants and animals in Southeast Asia are in danger. Poachers killed a famous elephants in Kenya. And scientists are working to save polar bears population in Alaska and the Bering Sea. More

  • Audio Ice Cream Sweetens Visits to Maryland Farms

    Maryland’s so-called 'Ice Cream Trail' is 460 kilometers long. The state's agriculture secretary says itl brings valuable attention to the state’s dairy farms | American Mosaic More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs