Six indecency and sexual abuse cases in school have been discovered within the last 15 months. But analysts believe the actual number of sexual assault cases is higher because many students and parents do not report them to the police.
The Tien Son Primary School
A male teacher at a high school for the gifted in Thai Binh province was found sending solicitation messages to a female 10th grader. A male teacher in Bac Giang province conducted misbehavior towards fifth graders. And a female teacher in Binh Thuan was caught having relations with a 10th grade male student.
Pham Tat Dong, deputy chair of the Vietnam Study Encouragement Society, said the violations showed the decline in teachers’ morals.
“The cases have seriously affected the prestige of Vietnam’s education. The product of education is people. Teachers or those who help create the product must be good at both knowledge and professional ethics,” Dong said.
Dong said the teachers who committed indecent behavior must be strictly punished and expelled from the education sector.
When asked why the teachers’ morals had declined, Dong said for many years, Vietnam has been concentrating on training teachers in professional knowledge, but has not examined the quality of pedagogical school graduates.
In other countries, people must undergo strict tests after finishing pedagogical schools to work as teachers. In Vietnam, the management over teachers’ quality has loosened.
“In factories, bad workers don't create good products. And the same in the educational sector,” he said.
Expecting heavy sanctions on teachers, parents were astonished when hearing the Viet Yen district’s investigation agency’s conclusion that Duong Trong Minh, the teacher at Tien Son Primary School, “only touched the buttocks and thighs of fifth grade students and this must not be considered a lewd act”.
Dang Hoa Nam, head of the Children Agency under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), said he did not agree with the conclusion that the teacher did not conduct a lewd act.
“The investigation agency should have done a more thorough investigation and met all the victims before making a decision,” he said.
Khuat Thu Hong from the Institute for Social Research and Development also expressed her disagreement with the conclusion. “What will we call the teacher’s behavior if it is not a lewd act?”
Other psychologists and social activists have also shown their concern about the conclusion, saying that such a light punishment will harm the school environment.
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