Free education to cultivate social positivity

August 13, 2023 | 05:31 am PT
Tran Hung Thien Businessman
Several months ago, I took my children to a library in Brisbane, Australia, at the weekend. Upon arriving, two librarians greeted us with a warm welcome and invited my children to get library cards.

They also introduced us to a competition called "Who reads the most," a monthly friendly competition among locals here.

I was mesmerized by the invitations, and asked the librarians to help the whole family with library cards. They provided detailed instructions, thoroughly and dedicatedly, as if our reading experience was their utmost importance and sacred task.

As the cards were printed out, some of our names were misspelled, a common issue for Vietnamese abroad. I thought that we had bothered the librarians enough, and decided to let it go. But the librarians noticed the change in my face and kindly asked me what was wrong. Upon learning about the technical mistake, they were determined to fix the issue and eventually printed new cards for us.

As we said goodbye for that day, the librarians told my children to read. I thanked her, but she seems to consider her job not only as a responsibility but also as a joy, to cultivate as many readers as possible.

Everything was free. The library cards, the books. From that day onwards, my children start to read more. I also fell in love with the library. It became an attraction to our family, and every time we have guests, we take them for a tour of the library.

Just a few days ago, I dropped by the kindergarten where my youngest child is attending to donate a few boxes of tissues, part of the school campaign to improve facilities for children. Out of my gratitude, I brought more than the school asked for. The kindergarten’s head teacher, upon receiving me, was amazed.

I explained to her that I felt indebted to the school for providing such an amazing education for my child, and wished to express my gratitude in our capacity. The teacher replied that though she was glad that the family was happy, educating was the school’s responsibility, and they intended to do it to the best of their ability.

Although I don’t live in Vietnam anymore, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Da Nang has exempted tuition fees for students from kindergarten to high school levels for the third year in a row, a policy initiated during the pandemic to ensure equal education to the less privileged during harsh times.

Several other provinces, like Bac Ninh, Quang Ninh, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, also followed suit. I was overjoyed, as Da Nang was a memorial city for me, for I had taught here several years before.

Although it does not have as much capacity as Brisbane, where I live now, Da Nang and other localities in Vietnam are trying to make public services, including education, more accessible to all locals. To me, every step in this direction is an admirable effort of Vietnam.

With better policies, especially policies that provide more equal and better education to the young generations, we as a society will grow and improve our well-being day by day. Citizens, especially those who contribute their efforts to the public sector, should be the first to spread such positivity.

*Tran Hung Thien is an expert on market analysis and lecturer at the VNUK Danang and the Crimson Institute.

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
go to top