Vietnamese teacher ‘whistle blower’ suffers for fighting graft

I like reading stories like this one in Vietnam.  It was published in the Western media today but I saw it on the Vietnamese news sites about a month ago.  Do Viet Khoa is a school teacher in northern Vietnam who blew the whistle on the corruption at his school.  He was praised as a hero by government officials but in his own town, he is seen as a pariah.

In Vietnam, the Vietnames school and university systems are ripe with corruption.  Students are forced to take extra classes to learn topics they ‘should’ have learned during the school day.  Teachers and administrators use this to earn a higher income.  It is a common practice here, not many people here seem to object by it.  My neighber rents the rooms in his house each evening for extra classes.

In the universities, students with have to pay their instructors to ensure they get a good grade.  Administrators can earn money by providing the exams to the students.  Hence, graduating students from both the high schools and universities tend to have really high marks.  Those with low marks were the one who refused or could not afford to pay the extra fees.

Though the government may be trying to stop the corruption in schools and universities, the reality is that is not happening as in Mr. Khoa’s case.  Administrators, parents and students have shunned him for ‘hindering’ the progress of his students.  Yet, he refuses to quit his fight and I applaud him for that.

Back in December, 2006, I had a similar experience to Mr. Khoa when I was a university instructor teaching Sociology and US History at the Center for International Education (Vietnam National University HCM).  I tried to fight the excessive cheating among my students but in the end, I lost.  My students that were caught cheating were allowed by the CIE to attend the universities in the US.

I hope the Vietnamese government can give Mr. Khoa the support he needs to continue his fight.  He would make a great education government official someday to make the necessary changes to the current educational situation in Vietnam.

Vietnam has a huge potential in producing world class teachers and students.

Stand up for Mr. Khoa!!!

Read the article here ->

3 comments on “Vietnamese teacher ‘whistle blower’ suffers for fighting graft”

  1. sadasd

    corruption in education occurs everyday…and here in the united states, i have seen way too much cheating going on also. i also teachers that play favorites and do not grade according to the grade layout.

  2. SaigonNezumi (Kevin)

    @sadasd: I agree but in the US, you cannot buy your grade. That is one good thing. When I was an undergrad, I was never happy that students were able to get copies of old exams. Our professors knew about it but they said they could do nothing. Too much politics.

    When I was an AI at Indiana Univ., many of my students plagiarized but I was NOT allowed to fail their paper. I could only deduct 1 full grade. The Head AI ordered us to do this.

  3. Tuan

    Heh, I cheated a lot when I was high school students in Viet Nam. In fact, I don’t think I know any of my friends that didn’t cheat on test lol. Oh man, this post bring back so many memories.
    When I went to the university in northern Illinois, I barely cheat at all. Most of it has to do with lazy professors who use the same tests or they switch tests every other years. Us students catch up on that real quick ;p.

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