Spreading love in Christmas time
Another Christmas season has come. This year Christmas is special due to impacts of COVID-19. However, Vietnam has been praised for its efforts in controlling the epidemic outbreak, helping bring a safe and happy Christmas to everyone in the country.
Christmas has become more special at this time as Vietnam has recorded no new COVID-19 infection cases in the community so far.
Everyone shares laughers and happiness, wishing a merry Christmas and COVID-19 will soon be pushed back./.
Vietnam aims for top 400 universities for maths
Vietnam wins four gold medals at Int’l Mathematical Olympiad 2017.
Vietnam aims to have five educational institutions among top 500 universities for maths in 2030 and two institutions in top 400 to realise the National Programme for Mathematics Development for the 2021-2030 period.
The programme was approved by the PM on December 22. According to the programme, 80% of the main teachers and lecturers will be trained to meet the new curriculum requirements.
In order to boost mathematics education, there must be more quality maths works and research. Awards will be given to outstanding work. Support will be given to teachers and lecturers to carry out research and applied maths. Priority will be given to applied maths in major fields, especially artificial intelligence, data science, information security and safety, environment and climate change.
Conferences will be held more regularly among state agencies, schools, universities and firms about applied maths. Conferences about modern maths teaching methods will also be held as a way to improve the general education programme. Some universities and colleges will be given support to become a maths centre in the northern region, central region, Central Highlands and southern region.
The authorities will promote more international co-operation in the field of research, application and training. They will help to boost maths education in ASEAN and Asia in general to improve the position of Vietnam in the region. At least two international conferences will be held in the period of 2021-2030 for better exchange between local and foreign mathematicians.
The fund for the programme will come from the state budget, private sector and other sources in and outside of Vietnam.
The Ministry of Education and Training will implement the programme and has the responsibility to organise the collaboration between agencies, set up detailed plans and guidance. An executive board will be set up with the representatives from the Ministry of Education and Training, Ministry of Science and Technology, Vietnam Mathematical Society and other education institutions.
The Vietnam Institute for Advanced Studies in Mathematics will be responsible for the review and assessment of the plans and actions and report to the PM any difficulties as well as solutions.
The Minister of Education and Training, heads of provincial and city people’s committees and other related agencies must oversee this programme.
Tay Ninh: First-instance trial involving illegal cross-border sending of citizens opens
|First-instance trial involving illegal cross-border sending of citizens opens in Tay Ninh|
The People’s Court of the southern province of Tay Ninh on December 24 started the first-instance trial on a ring illegally sending people to the other side of the border despite a ban on leaving and entering the country via trails to prevent COVID-19 outbreak.
Tran Van Hau, Ho Van Thanh, Truong Ngoc Danh, Le Van Qui, and Cao Van Phung, residing in Ben Thuy district of Tay Ninh province, and Phan Thi Diem from Ho Chi Minh City’s Cu Chi district, were sentenced to imprisonment from two years and a half to six years for illegally taking Chinese people to Cambodia.
According to the investigations, under the brokerage of Kieu, Hau, Thieu, Danh, and Qui had twice organized the illegal sending of nine Chinese from Vietnam to Cambodia in June 2020.
Hau got 6 million VND from the act, Danh 20 million VND, and Thieu and Qui, each 7 million VND. Meanwhile, Phung committed the crime once, earning 1 million VND.
HCMC to organize various activities to welcome new year
According to a plan of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, various activities will be organized to welcome the new year.
As per the plan, musical performance will be held in Walking Street Nguyen Hue in District 1 and in other streets in districts 9, 12, Tan Phu and outlying districts Binh Tan, Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, Nha Be and Can Gio as well as in industrial parks and export processing zones on the evening of December 31 and January 1.
The city will make artistic light decoration in streets in downtown areas. If city authorities can call for social contribution, the façade of Ho Chi Minh City Hall officially known as the People’s Committee Building will be lit using 3D effects on the nights of December 31 and January 1.
Also according to the plan, the city will have firework during the fifteen-minute display at midnight of January 1 in the Sai Gon tunnel in District 2 , Landmark 81 Saigon Skyview in District 1, Central Park in Binh Thanh District and Dam Sen Entertainment Park in District 11 with the Prime Minister’s permission.
Man faces one-year flight ban due to mobile phone theft
A man in the northern province of Hung Yen has been banned from flying for one year after stealing a mobile phone at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.
The man, 43, who took a VietJet Air flight on Hanoi-HCM City on November 9 stole the mobile phone of another passenger at the carry-on luggage security checkpoint.
According to the airport security force, he admitted the theft.
Under the decision of Noi Bai International Airport’s authorities, he received a one-year flight ban, starting from December 15. He will also be subjected to physical examination at airports for an additional six months.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam have asked local and foreign airlines to stop providing services to him during the required time. The airports were asked to check his personal papers to prevent him from flying.
The Vietnam Civil Aviation Authority recently issued a one-year flight ban for a 32-year-old male passenger in the central province of Nghe An for smoking on a flight.
People-to-people diplomacy needs reform: Official
|Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Tran Quoc Vuong|
Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat, Tran Quoc Vuong, has called for more effort to renew the content and method and increase the efficiency of people-to-people diplomacy.
Vuong made the appeal when attending a conference held by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations in Hanoi on December 23 to review people-to-people diplomacy in 2020 and put forth tasks for 2021.
He applauded the contributions of people involved in people-to-people diplomacy in protecting national independence, sovereignty, and integrity, as well as in promoting the country’s sustainable development.
They were asked to actively study how to broadly expand Vietnam’s relations with partners in each region and propose initiatives that benefit the community and the country in both bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms.
It is also important to introduce Vietnam to more international friends and promptly fight false allegations and sabotage activities by hostile forces, especially in the fields of democracy and human rights, he stressed.
The official also highlighted the need to pay attention to increasing the quality of personnel training to meet requirements in the new circumstances.
Bright spots in Vietnam’s people-to-people diplomacy this year were the friendship and cooperation activities to fight COVID-19, overcome the consequences of natural disasters, effectively carry out external activities amid the pandemic, and respond to the ASEAN Chairmanship Year.
Amid the pandemic, the country promptly adjusted the operational method of people-to-people diplomacy, thus contributing to boosting socio-economic development and protecting national interests./.
Covid-19 impedes HCMC’s first metro line project progress
Due to Covid-19 and some other obstacles, the first metro line project in HCMC may be 81% complete by the end of this year, while the target for the project’s workload is some 85%.
As planned, the project would be completed and put into operation at the end of next year, the local media reported.
In a recent report sent to the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, the Management Authority for Urban Railways of HCMC (MAUR) — the investor of the project — has reported achievements and difficulties during the project’s execution.
According to MAUR, although the pandemic has shown complicated developments, hindering the immigration of foreign experts and import of materials, contractors have striven to complete some items, including clearing and connecting the entire line, completing the construction of the B1 basement and returning the construction site in front of the Opera House, receiving the first train car and preparing for the trial operation.
However, the project has faced multiple obstacles. Specifically, a contract with the consulting unit of the first metro line, NJPT, has expired and has yet to be renewed.
MAUR and NJPT have signed memorandums of understanding so that the later could continue its work. Nippon Koei Company, a member of NJPT, and NJPT have announced halting the consultation for the project until appendixes of the consulting contract are signed.
According to MAUR, the payments for contractors are huge, so the consulting unit needs to work continuously. In addition, the training of train drivers, moderators and the staff at stations has been interrupted, significantly affecting the plan to put the project into service late next year.
MAUR has proposed the HCMC government quickly approve the results of the negotiations of MAUR and NJPT so that the appendixes of the consulting contract can be signed soon.
Additionally, it is yet to be determined whether the remaining official development assistance loans sourced from the State budget for the project will be given in Japanese yen or the Vietnamese dong. As a result, nearly VND2.2 trillion has yet to be disbursed.
MAUR urged the municipal Department of Planning and Investment to provide consultancy to the municipal government so that the city can soon ask for the Government’s help to remove the obstacles facing the project.
Progress of Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line could be delayed
The State Council for Pre-Acceptance Test of Construction Works has asked the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) to urgently inspect the replacement of elastomeric bearings pads for the entire length of Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien Metro Line after they fell out from the bedrock at the pillar P14-10 of Package 2 (CP2).
In addition, HCMC’s authorities has also set up an inspection team to find out the cause of the incidents.
On December 22, MAUR continued to send a request to the consortium comprising Vietnam’s Civil Engineering Construction Corporation No. 6 (Cienco 6) and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, the contractor of the line to look for incident report.
Accordingly, MAUR is afraid that the incident could impact the progress and schedule of the project. The main investor said that contractor’s report of the incident is not clear and convincing. MAUR doubts the quality of bearing pads and asks the contractors of the line to provide experiment results to prove that the installation of the bearing pads meet technology standards.
400 households in Long Thanh airport area to be relocated in resettlement site
The People’s Committee of Dong Nai Province together with the Ministry of Transport and the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) agreed to propose the government to permit relocating 400 households, whose lands have been reclaimed for construction of two roads connecting to Long Thanh international airport, in Loc An – Binh Son resettlement area.
The first phase of Long Thanh International Airport Project comprises two roads leading to the airport, including 3.8kmlong route No.1 spanning from National Highway 51 to Long Thanh airport with six lanes and 3.5km long route No.2 starting from Ho Chi Minh City – Long Thanh – Dau Giay expressway to route No.1 with four lanes.
The People’s Committee of Dong Nai Province had to implement land clearance on 136 hectares and resettlement for 400 households.
The households will be relocated to the resettlement area of Loc An – Binh Son.
Level-2 Field Hospital No 3 begins last training stage
|Leaders of the Ministry of National Defence pose for a photo with staff members of the Level-2 Field Hospital No.3.|
Staff members of the Level-2 Field Hospital No.3 began the last training phase on December 23 in Ho Chi Minh City before leaving for South Sudan to join the international peacekeeping force there.
The training will equip the hospital’s staff members with more necessary skills when doing duty in the African country, with special attention paid to the prevention of and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Major General Nguyen Hong Son, Director of Military Hospital 175, there are certain advantages for the hospital No.3 in training thanks to experiences from the hospital No.1. However, in the context of the complicated developments of the pandemic, the organisation of the training requires great efforts of the Military Hospital 175 and staff members of the hospital No.3.
“We have to perform our duty in battling the COVID-19 pandemic while engaging in training in accordance with strict requirements of the United Nations,” he said.
Major General Hoang Kim Phung, Director of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations, affirmed that all preparations have been completed and the staff of the Level-2 Field Hospital No 3 are fully capable of replacing the hospital No.2.
According to Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Vietnam has so far deployed two field hospitals with 126 staff members to South Sudan. The term of the field hospital No.2 has been extended for nearly five months, and during the extended time, the hospital has not been supplied with materials and equipment from the UN for its operation, Vinh said.
The 63 staff members of the Level-2 Field Hospital No 3 are scheduled to leave for duty in South Sudan in the first quarter of 2021./.
Vietnam’s three airports get airport health accreditation
Three airports in Vietnam—Tan Son Nhat in HCMC, Noi Bai in Hanoi and Danang—have been granted the Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) by the Airports Council International (ACI) as they have met the standards and requirements on safety and hygiene in the fight against Covid-19.
A representative of Tan Son Nhat International Airport on December 23 confirmed to Tuoi Tre Online that the airport had received the accreditation issued by ACI, while the Noi Bai and Danang international airports were also granted the accreditation in recognition of their efforts to deliver a safe airport experience in the battle against Covid-19.
Factors assessed by ACI to issue the accreditation include cleaning and disinfection, physical distancing, staff protection, passenger communication and passenger facilities.
This is meant to motivate the airport’s employees to continue trying their best to guarantee the safety of passengers and ensure Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures are properly implemented, according to the representative of Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
In addition, the Government and State agencies can base on the issuance of AHA to the three airports to reopen international air routes, contributing to minimizing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Some 120 airports in the global market have been granted the AHA.
Ceremony marks 60th anniversary of Vietnamese Memorial Clock Tower in Thailand
|A ceremony takes place in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, on December 22 to celebrate the 60th year since the Vietnamese Memorial Clock Tower was built by Vietnamese people living here before they returned to Vietnam.|
A ceremony was held in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, on December 22 to celebrate the 60th year since the Vietnamese Memorial Clock Tower was built by Vietnamese people living here before they returned to Vietnam.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of the Thai-Vietnamese Association in Nakhon Phanom Tran Van Sau briefed about the history of the Vietnamese Memorial Clock Tower which was built by the community of Vietnamese expats in the province in 1960 as a gift to show their gratitude towards the Thai King and Government who welcomed them with great hospitality at the time of hardship.
Governor of Nakhon Phanom province Kayson Kongsalat expressed his honour to be invited to the event, saying Nakhon Phanom is a province with cultural diversity where many ethnic minority groups live peacefully together. The building of the clock tower is meaningful to the solidarity between Vietnamese and Thai peoples, he said, adding that the event not only provides a good opportunity to remind people of the past but also demonstrates a strong relationship between the two countries as neighbours and strategic partners.
Ambassador of Vietnam to Thailand Phan Chi Thanh, meanwhile, said the clock tower holds both historic and cultural meaning. It also helps strengthen the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, he noted.
Thanh expected that the Vietnamese people in Nakhon Phanom and all over Thailand at large will always remember the warm welcome of the Thai government and people over the past years and together further deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries./.
Dak Lak: 155 ethnic minority students receive Vu A Dinh scholarships
The Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund has presented 155 scholarships to disadvantaged ethnic minority students with excellent academic performance in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.
Dak Lak is a multicultural province which is home to 49 ethnic minority groups. There are approximately 159,600 ethnic minority students, or about 25 percent of the total, enrolling from kindergarten to high school in the province during the 2020 – 2021 academic year.
Ethnic minorities present around 15 percent of close to 11,000 students pursuing study at universities and colleges across the province.
Addressing the event on December 22, former Vice President and Chairman of the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund Truong My Hoa said the fund has awarded nearly 100,000 scholarships to students from ethnic minority groups and those living in coastal areas and on islands who have excellent academic performances.
The fund has been running four major projects benefiting over 1,000 students, including 22 from Dak Lak, she added.
Hoa called on the province to pay more attention to students who have dropped out schools because of impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and produce reports on academic results of Vu A Dinh scholarship recipients.
She also encouraged those awarded this time to study harder to meet up the expectation of parents and teachers./.
Vietnamese, Japanese youths’ 25-year cooperation marked in Hanoi
A ceremony takes place in Hanoi on December 23 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Vietnam Alumni Club of Youth Friendship (VACYF) and the 25th year of cooperation between Vietnamese and Japanese youths. (Photo: Tien Phong)
A ceremony was held in Hanoi on December 23 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Vietnam Alumni Club of Youth Friendship (VACYF) and the 25th year of cooperation between Vietnamese and Japanese youths.
The event was organized by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) Central Committee, the National Committee on Youth of Vietnam (NCYV) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
In his remarks at the event, HCYU First Secretary Nguyen Anh Tuan said with the growing Vietnam – Japan relations, cooperation between the two countries’ youths have been strengthened and become more effective, contributing to bolstering friendship and mutual understanding between the two peoples.
Year 1995 marked the start of cooperation between the HCYU, NCYV and Japanese partners with the signing of an agreement with JICA Vietnam on the Friendship Youth Programme for the 21st century, Tuan said, adding that over the last 25 years, youth cooperation projects between the two countries have been constantly expanded.
He highlighted several outstanding programmes, such as the Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Programme (SSEAYP), the World Youth Alliance Asia-Pacific (WYAAP) Summer Camp, and an exchange programme between young politicians, which provide participants with an opportunity to explore knowledge and skills in multiple fields and get to know more about Vietnam, Japan and their cultures.
Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan spoke highly of the VACYF’s activities, saying it has acted as a bridge for closer partnership between the two countries’ youths.
Nearly 250 Vietnamese citizens brought home from Israel, Oman
A Vietnam Airlines flight safely brought home nearly 250 Vietnamese citizens from Israel and Oman on December 22-23 thanks to concerted efforts from Vietnamese missions in the Middle Eastern countries and local authorities.
On board the flight were the elderly, students who finished their study but without accommodation, guest workers whose visas and labour contracts had expired and those in extremely difficult circumstances.
The Vietnamese embassies in the concerned countries coordinated with local authorities to facilitate the citizens’ travel to the airport for the rescue flight. The embassies also sent staff to help them complete pre-departure procedures before boarding.
In-flight safety and security measures were enforced to protect the passengers’ health and prevent the spread of COVID-19. All crew members and passengers were given medical checkups and put under quarantine upon arrival at Da Nang International Airport.
More flights will be arranged to fly home Vietnamese citizens in the future, depending on citizens’ request, the COVID-19 pandemic situation and the nation’s quarantine capacity./.
Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam bans one man for smoking on flight
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has issued a decision to slap one passenger from the North-central Province of Nghe An with flight ban of one year for smoking.
Male passenger Le Van H., 32, from Nghe An, was caught smoking in the lavatory on flight QH1153 from Vinh City to Ho Chi Minh City.
Under CAAV’s decision, the male passenger will not be allowed to board any flights in or departing from Vietnam for nine months starting December 26, 2020 to December 24,2021. After one year ban, the man will be under monitor in six next months from December 25, 2021 to June 24,2022.
CAAV requested Vietnamese airlines and foreign airlines in Vietnam for domestic and international flights not to allow the man in any flights during the ban time.
Vietnam Railway offers half-price discount on train ticket in January 2021
The Vietnam Railways Corporation offered a preferential promotion program of up to 50 percent discount for passengers in the period of January 4 to 29, 2021.
The program applies to passengers who buy tickets two days before the departure time with a specific number of train cars and seats based on soft seats and six-bed cabin with air conditioning.
After reducing, the ticket price of Ho Chi Minh City – Nha Trang route is only from VND160,000 (US$7) per ticket, HCMC – Da Nang trip costs only VND250,000 (US$11) per ticket, HCMC – Hanoi is only VND450,000 (US$19) per ticket.
Similarly, the Hanoi Railway Transport Joint Stock Company also launched a 50 percent discount program on the trains. In addition to applying on a pair of Thong Nhat trains SE1/SE2, SE5/SE6, the preferential promotion program has been also implemented to all trains on the Hanoi – Vinh, Hanoi – Hai Phong, Hanoi – Lao Cai routes.
The programs are to stimulate and encourage more passengers to travel by rail.
Hanoi railway to apply 50-percent discount on fare for kids on Tet holiday
The Hanoi Railway Transport Joint Stock Company (Haraco) announced to apply 50 percent discount on train fare for 6 to 10-year-old kids in the North-South journey on Tet holiday.
Accordingly, the half-price discount is applied to the passengers who travel a distance of 500 kilometers on SE14, SE16, SE24 trains departing from Saigon railway station on February 9, 2021; train SE30 travelling from Saigon station on February 9, 10.
Besides that, kids on train SE15 with scheduled time of departure on February 15, 16, 18 and 19, 2021 from Hanoi station; train SE23 departing from Hanoi station on February 5, 17, 19, 21 and train SE29 from Hanoi station on February 15, 16 and 20 will be also enjoyed the discount program.
Representatives of Haraco said that the railway sector has planned to increase more trains to meet travel demand of passengers on the Lunar New Year.
Local airlines carry apricot, peach blossoms for Tet from January 27
|Passengers should wrap flowers into bundles with the size not exceeding 150x40x40 cm or 150cm x 40cm x 50cm. (Photo: SGGP)|
National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and low-cost airlines Jetstar Pacific, Bamboo Airways will transport apricot and peach blossoms for the upcoming lunar New Year Festival (Tet) on domestic flights from January 27 -February 26 (the 15th day of the last lunar month – 15th day of the first lunar month).
A passenger will be allowed to check in with 1-2 branches of apricot or peach blossoms, measuring maximum 150cm x 40cm x 40cm (Vietnam Airlines ) and 150cm x 40cm x 50cm (Bamboo Airways) as a special ‘Luggage Consignment Service’.
Transportation fee will be VND450, 000 (US$18.75), not including VAT. In order to keep the flowers fresh during transportation, passengers should wrap flowers into bundles.
Vietnamese culinary culture introduced in Laos
|Nhập mô tả cho ảnhA diverse range of traditional Vietnamese cuisine were introduced at the multinational culinary festival held at the National University of Laos in Vientiane.|
A multinational culinary festival was held at the National University of Laos in Vientiane capital on December 23, attracting thousands of students, including those studying Vietnamese.
A diverse range of traditional Vietnamese cuisine were introduced at the event, with all of the dishes being prepared and served by students from the University’s faculty of Vietnamese language.
The annual event, organised by the National University of Laos, aims to offer a venue for students from various faculties that make up the university to strengthen cultural exchange and gain greater insights into different cultures, along with sampling culinary specialties from countries throughout the region and around the world.
According to organisers, in addition to tasting typical dishes from nations across 12 booths, visitors to the event learned about the land, people and culture of countries and enjoyed art performances by participating students./.
Free rice presented to over 1,300 poor households in An Giang
A programme to set up “Rice ATMs” in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang was launched on December 22 by Prudential Vietnam together with the province’s Red Cross Society.
Six rice dispensers will be installed in six communes in Long Xuyen city and Tan Phu district, covering 1,350 households in difficult circumstances. Each will be eligible to receive 10 kg of rice.
A similar programme was carried out by Prudential Vietnam in the central localities of Da Nang, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Tri, and Quang Binh, and will come to the southern province of Binh Phuoc and Ha Giang and Yen Bai provinces in the northern mountainous region.
The “Rice ATMs” are expected to provide more than 11,000 disadvantaged families hit by COVID-19 around the country with 200 tonnes of rice, according to CEO of Prudential Vietnam Phuong Tien Minh./.
Vietnamese community in US supports flood-hit victims in Phu Yen
NRepresentatives from Foreign Ministry (R) present 300 million VND in cash and more than 108,370 water purification packets donated by Vietnamese community in the US to flood victims in Phu Yen
Vietnamese representative offices and communities abroad have offered aid relief in cash and kind to help residents in the country’s central region overcome the consequences of natural calamities.
Receiving the aid, President of the Red Cross Society of Phu Yen Huynh Tan Tinh vowed to promptly distribute it to people in need.
The province was thrown into disarray this year by drought, forest fires, storms, and floods. It lost more than 550 billion VND to severe flooding caused by Molave and Etau – the ninth and 12th storms hitting the East Sea this year./.
Universities in HCMC promoting digital transformation
The development of information technology has positively influenced tertiary education in Vietnam, including the birth of various digital ecosystems thanks to advanced online communication technologies. This has enabled the digital transformation process to take place under favorable conditions.
According to Associate Prof. Dr. Do Van Dung, Principal of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) University of Technology and Education, the demands for digital transformation in universities originate from the popular use of digital communications channels like social networks, email, official websites, online TV, and mobile apps to deliver announcements to learners faster and more conveniently.
In addition, there is a need to establish various kinds of databases, both to offer students with sufficient, updated learning materials and to form a stable online learning-teaching system, with the ultimate goal to create a multi-dimensional constructive academic ecosystem that can be shared among educational institutes.
In the knowledge economy, there are four core factors for success: education and training, innovative scientific research, IT infrastructure, and a suitable policy system. The first of them aims at building capable human resources to perform necessary tasks for other factors. Therefore, tertiary education must pursue digital transformation as soon as possible so that universities can share teaching and learning materials with one another.
Director of the Database Center (under Vietnam National University – HCMC) Bui Quoc Anh stated that this university has ordered his center to develop suitable technological solutions for each department and member unit to carry out the digital transformation process.
He then insisted that the key point now is to increase the public’s awareness related to the necessity of digital transformation. “When there is strong determination among the community, it is only the matter of time and technologies for the process to be done successfully”, said Mr. Anh.
Take HCMC University of Technology and Education as an example. Since the introduction of the first digital classroom here in 2014, financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), this university has launched several online learning sessions. Until now, there have been around 5,200 courses organized effectively. The interaction per year in the Learning Management System (LMS) by Pearson Education here reaches 90 million.
Regardless of such a significant role, the digital transformation process in education in HCMC still encounters various obstacles. Firstly, the IT infrastructure somehow cannot fully satisfy the learning and interaction needs of students. More importantly, the awareness about this essential process among certain academic staff is not deep enough. Finally, the digital resources are not sufficient and synchronous for a smooth development of an academic ecosystem.
It is high time for the local authorities to prepare a comprehensive digital transformation program for all universities in HCMC, along with a detailed long-term plan for the period from 2020-2025 and a vision to 2030. This program, when introduced, might be able to unite the minds of related people for a stronger determination to carryout digital transformation thoroughly in education.
Tiền Giang shifts to high-value crops to adapt to climate change
|A fruit orchard that was formerly an unproductive rice field in Tiền Giang Province’s Chợ Gạo District.|
The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tiền Giang plans to turn 7,700ha of unproductive rice fields into high-value crops to adapt to climate change and natural disasters in the 2020-25 period.
The province, which is the country’s largest fruit producer, will convert nearly 5,000ha of unproductive rice fields to fruit cultivation, mostly in areas between National Highway No. 1 and Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận expressway, according to the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Agriculture.
About 700ha will shift to vegetables in areas that have traditionally cultivated vegetables, mostly in Châu Thành District.
In addition, farmers on about 1,300ha will rotate growing rice in the rainy season and vegetables in the dry season on the same fields in Cái Bè and Cai Lậy districts and Cai Lậy Town.
Around 700ha of rice will be turned into aquaculture areas in Cai Lậy District and Cay Lậy Town.
Localities will help farmers choose the most suitable crops to grow in their fields, and to improve productivity, agriculture extension activities as well as provision of advanced techniques will be offered to farmers.
The production of crop seeds and seedlings will also be inspected to ensure quality.
Nguyễn Văn Mẫn, director of the department, said the province would focus on issues such as market information, agricultural product consumption, trade promotion, and origin traceability to develop sustainable production.
The province will boost linkages among farmers, scientists, companies and local authorities in agriculture to improve efficiency.
It will also expand agricultural co-operative models that have operated effectively, he said.
The province has 80 linkage models among farmers and companies for producing and consuming agricultural products on a total area of 13,000ha.
The 80 models produce a total of 121,800 tonnes of agricultural products worth VNĐ607 billion (US$26.2 million) a year.
The province is also seeking investors in agricultural production and rural area development.
Tiền Giang, which was heavily hit by saltwater intrusion in the dry season, has converted more than 13,700ha of rice to other high-value crops this year.
The profit from growing high-value fruits like durian, jackfruit, mango and green-skin and pink-flesh grapefruit is 9-12 times higher than that of rice.
Trần Văn Toàn, who has shifted his 2ha rice fields to dragon fruit in Gò Công Đông District’s Kiểng Phước Commune, said his family had produced three rice crops a year, but did not have a high income.
“Drought, saltwater intrusion and climate change became more severe and caused damage in recent years and local authorities encouraged rice farmers to switch to other crops,” he said.
Under the encouragement of local authorities, he switched to dragon fruit. He now earns a profit of VNĐ500 million ($21,600) a year, he said.
The province has more than 82,000ha of fruits and 57,000ha of vegetables. It has 179,843ha of farmland, accounting for 71.6 per cent of its total area.
Saltwater intrusion in the 2020-21 dry season is expected to arrive earlier this year, affecting the 2020-21 winter-spring crop, the summer-autumn crop, and fruit orchards in the western area of Tiền Giang, according to the province’s People’s Committee.
Local departments, agencies and localities plan to upgrade saltwater-prevention works, transport fresh water and store fresh water for agricultural production and household use.
Farmers will also receive guidance in how to store fresh water and use fresh water efficiently.
In recent years, saltwater intrusion and drought caused damage to agriculture in the dry season, especially fruit cultivation. As a result, farmers changed the growing schedules of rice and other short-term crops, or stopped growing them in certain periods.
To protect perennial fruits from natural disasters, they have stored fresh water and built saltwater-prevention dams.
Mẫn, director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province has upgraded saltwater-prevention dams and sluices, and built new ones in major agricultural production areas.
In Cai Lậy District, the islet communes of Tân Phong and Ngũ Hiệp grow specialty fruits like durian and rambutan for domestic consumption and export.
The two communes have more than 2,600ha of fruits. In the last dry season, many fruit orchards on the two communes died or were severely affected by saltwater intrusion.
For the 2020-21 season, the province has spent VNĐ55.3 billion ($2.38 million) to build eight temporary saltwater-prevention dams on Ngũ Hiệp and 20 temporary saltwater-prevention dams on Tân Phong.
The department, in co-operation with the two communes, plans to collect and store fresh water in the dry 2020-21 season to protect agricultural production and the lives of local people.
Ministry of Justice urged to remove overlaps in legal documents
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has urged the Ministry of Justice to remove overlaps and contradictions in legal documents while addressing the ministry’s conference on Wednesday to implement tasks for the 2021-25 period.
He noted that legal constitution was an important basis for national construction and development. The national legal system has been completed in all sectors over the past five years.
“Effective law building and enforcement are the utmost conditions to promote the country’s development. The part of the Ministry of Justice is getting more significant, requiring the sector to continue taking the leading role,” he said.
Emphasising the role of legal affair officers, PM Phúc said more than 45,000 staff of the ministry must set examples in law enforcement and law-building consultation to push back against violations.
He praised the sector for completing assigned political tasks, contributing to achievements of the whole country in socio-economy, defence-security and external affairs.
However, the sector must review its shortcomings including slow issuance of legal documents instructing law enforcement and violations in civil judgment enforcement.
He urged the sector to avoid group benefits and corruption in law building while improving public service quality in judicial administration, focusing on areas such as civil status, nationality, judicial record, State compensation, child adoption and creating a trustful and convenient legal network for people and businesses.
The ministry was asked to complete legal constitutions and effectively implement regulations in civil and administrative judgement execution.
PM Phúc requested the ministry to streamline its personnel and apply information technology in administrative reform and step up inspections in State management, especially in areas directly related to people and businesses.
According to the ministry’s report delivered at the conference, this year it has consulted competent agencies to finalise 17 laws and reviewed more than 32,000 legal documents.
Quang Nam bolsters tourism promotion on New Year
Tourists in Hoi An Ancient Town
The central province of Quang Nam has launched many tourism events to attract visitors on the occasion of New Year.
During the week from December 24 to January 1, a range of activities will be launched in Hoi An City, including Hoi An food festival, a street lantern decoration competition and a wedding photo and video contest.
Tan Thanh fishing village’s market will be held during the week with new stalls such as Hoi An’s antiques and handicraft products of Quang Nam as well as the sale-off of shops in Hoi An Ancient Town.
Nguyen Van Lanh, vice chairman of Hoi An City, said that Hoi An has prepared to organise many other tourism events to welcome the upcoming Lunar New Year and the 15th day of the first lunar month of 2021.
Lots of tourist sites, hotels and restaurants have also offered attractive discounts of 20-30%.
Quang Nam and other two central localities of Thua Thien-Hue Province and Danang City recently jointly announced the launch of a tourism promotion programme after Covid-19.
According to the programme, entrance tickets to Hoi An Old Town and local handicraft villages would be halved between January and June next year.
HCMC to strictly monitor academic quality of primary pupils
In order to improve the learning quality of pupils, especially weak learners, the HCMC Department of Education and Training has asked principals of educational institutes to increase checking professional activities of their teaching staff.
These school leaders are also suggested to help teachers upgrade their professional skills to better fulfill their responsibilities.
Teachers are recommended to renovate their teaching and testing methods to more precisely evaluate the academic as well as moral level of their pupils so that proper help can be provided to those in need.
Teachers are requested to carefully prepare detailed educational plans for pupils of each level, with a clear focus on weak ones. Extra-curriculum lessons should be offered to aid them fill in the learning gap and be more confident in their study.
Lastly, tuition sessions held in educational institutes and private locations must strictly observe all regulations introduced by the Ministry of Education and Training, HCMC People’s Committee.
Most importantly, the evaluation of pupils’ academic level at the end of the school year must be quality-based rather than achievement-based. There should be a close cooperation between teachers and parents to help weak learners improve their level.
76th founding anniversary of Vietnam People’s Army marked in Venezuela
The Vietnamese Embassy and Defence Attaché Office in Venezuela have laid wreaths at the Ho Chi Minh monument in Caracas’ Simon Bolivar avenue to mark the 76th anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army (December 22, 1944 – 2020).
Speaking at the event taking place in conjunction with the anniversary, Ambassador Le Viet Duyen reviewed milestones of the force during the past 76 years.
Duyen took the occasion to pay respect to heroes and martyrs who shed their blood for the national independence and peace.
The diplomat said despite of the COVID-19 pandemic’s complicated developments, the embassy and office have conducted several practical activities in contribution to fostering the Vietnam – Venezuela multifaceted cooperation, friendship, and comprehensive partnership./.
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