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Actions to turn expectations into reality
Updated: 8/4/2015 2:31:30 PM GMT + 7
Luu Vinh Trinh, the youngest contestant (18), won third prize in age group 15-30. Photo: Duyen Phan
Luu Vinh Trinh, the youngest contestant (18), won third prize in age group 15-30. Photo: Duyen Phan
Final round of the writing contest " My expectations for Vietnam in the next 20 years" taking place on 11 July at Tuoi Tre Newspaper’s office ended with beautiful impressions, confidence, and hope for a brighter future.

The important thing is that the authors do not only stop at dreams, or devise solutions, they have been taking actions to help turn hopes into reality.

Giving autonomy does not mean loosening your children. We shoud create good conditions for their comprehensive development, and should not impose our lifestyle upon them. Parents might be university lecturers but children may not have to follow academic path, but possibly work in business.

Le Hong Man

Contributions for a bright picture

Two mothers bring to the competition two simple but loving dreams, and day-by-day efforts to gradually contribute to a bright future for their children, families, and the country. These submissions have conquered the jury to win grand prizes of the contest.

The winners are author Le Hong Man, 26, with expectation of "Youths allowed to decide on their own”( first prize of the age group 15-30 ) and author Song Phuong, 37, with a dream of "Joining hands to add green to the country” (first prize in the age group over 30).

"To me, this is absolutely not an unrealistic dream. In fact, our group (consisting of 5 families) have applied this. We do not burden our children with pressure for academic performance at school. Children do not have to learn "every word" in the textbook. Instead, we aim at developing their thinking abilities and aptitudes", said the author Le Hong Man. Not to mention the success of this approach, she and her friends are having initial results: the children are confident, fun, and develop their natural aptitude.

Le Hong Man passionately outlined the project aiming at not only her and her friends’ children but many other children. She hopes parents and teachers will cultivate knowledge, life skills and confidence for children to develop in their own ways. The plan may start from groups of families, then become a community or a specific model, followed by the joint efforts of the whole society, and the establishment of soft skills schools, etc.

Ms. Nguyen Bich Thuy, one of the authors who is in the final round of the contest, asked: "If the child is given all decision power, what can we do when he develops in the wrong way?".

Ms. Le Hong Man explained:” Giving autonomy does not mean loosening your children. We should create good conditions for their comprehensive development, and should not impose our lifestyle upon them. Parents might be university lecturers but children may not have to follow academic path, but possibly work in business. Parents need to accept their children’s choice, event initial failure, and consider it as a prerequisite for success".

Author Song Phuong also chose community advocacy approach to contribute to the country development objectives: to advocate groups who have empathy for trees and the environment.

She proposed workable solutions, such as” Give these newborns pots of flowers as gifts to celebrate the day they enter the world. Boys can give their girlfriends pots of plants instead of expensive material gift. When the kids begin going to school, teachers should ask them to take care of green seeds as exercises, etc.”

The essential part of her project is not just a stop at the green trees, but a focus on the young generations who appreciate, cherish the green. They will be people who formulate development policy for the country in peace and sustainability.

One of the jury, Mr. Huynh The Du, director of Fulbright Economics Program, wondered: " Why do you focuse on women and children, but not men as people to implement the solutions?". Ms. Phuong softly replied: "There is one old saying "Men build houses, woman build home". In this project, I want to emphasize the role of women who can inspire their children and engage their men to participate​​”.

Her approach also show a spirit: No big words, no hard muscles, not just macroeconomic policies can be capable of generating innovations. Women, or simple housewives, children, or elderly people can make the whole country change towards a greater future, as long as they have dreams of change.

Solving the country's burning issues

Besides the two first prize winners, 12 other finalist authors also have expectations concerning hot issues of the country such as dreamed of a free-alcohol and tobacco country, a fair, scientific and systematic administrative apparatus, labor productivity that is at regional level, housing for all employees, or the poor not marginalized of the development, etc.

Interested in the solutions for education, Mr. Sandeep Mahajan, chief economist of the World Bank in Vietnam, asked Mr. Le Minh Tien,author of the submission Dreaming of a equalized society: "For the issue of inequality in access to educational opportunities, what is the most important solution? If you say the state plays a dominant role, should the state kept pouring more money for education? ".

Mr. Tien said: "I think that the problem is not just pouring more money, but transparency is more important. We need to make sure how the money is used, and if learners can benefit from that! " .

The expectation "Scholars on East Vietnam Sea to abound” by Nguyen The Phuong, 24, mentioned national sovereignty, that attracted many people’s attention. "A foreign scholar said that Vietnam is the most aggressive country on the South China Sea. Fortunately, some Vietnamese scholars have countered all the incorrect arguments in an English article”, said Nguyen The Phuong.

According to Phuong, China has a large and powerful mighty of scholars for China Sea research, and a systematic strategy.Meanwhile Vietnam is not well prepared for these issues. For a more equal battle, especially in academia, Phuong desired to build a database system for more scientific and accurate evidence confirming Vietnam 's sovereignty over the South China Sea.

Answering the question of Mr. Le Xuan Trung , general secretary of the Youth newspaper office , about his personal role to contribute to the expectation , Mr. Phuong said: " I am working at the National Research Centre International university of social Sciences and humanities City. We are also working on this issue , especially systematization of historical data about maritime sovereignty . our short-term goal it is to counter the incorrect allegation of the Chinese side , and further, it has built up a complete database , gather powerful forces , the scholars assert sovereignty over sea and islands our world will be more objective recognition".

Mr. Le Xuan Trung, chief editor of the Tuoi Tre newspaper, asked about author’s personal role to contribute to the expectation. Mr. Phuong said:"I am working at the Research Centre for International issues of the University of Social Sciences and humanities in HCMC. We are also researching on this issue, especially on the systematization of historical data about maritime sovereignty. Our short-term goal is to counter incorrect allegations from the Chinese side. Further, when a complete database is built up, and a powerful force of scholars, our sovereignty assertion over the sea and islands will be recognized".

On behalf of the contest organizers, Mr. Xuan Trung comment:"We will not stop at expectations, or measures mentioned today. The competition is as an inspiration, which demands each person to take action, and contribute to the country in the next 20 years. So the expectations today can become reality in the next 20 years."

Many young people participating

The contest "My expectations for Vietnam in the next 20 years," jointly organized by Tuoi Tre newspaper and the World Bank in Vietnam, was launched since 18 May 2015. After the deadline, dated 28 June 2015, the organizers received 598 submissions by 473 authors (about 80 authors submitted 2-3 articles).

Attracting not only 41 domestic authors, the contest also encouraged the participation of five authors abroad. Notably, in this competition, many young people participated, 47% of whom are at the age of 15-30, and many are are students.

Please see detailed list of prizes here.

Source: Tuoi Tre Newspaper

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