By Thanh An – Translated by Kim Khanh
Designated hot work area requirements osha
Pham Van Trieu has spent the past three decades traveling throughout rural Vietnam to share the gift of education with impoverished children in remote villages.
Over 30 years ago, Pham Van Trieu set out on a journey into Vietnam’s Central Highlands with one goal in mind: spread the gift of education to children who might otherwise have never seen the inside of a classroom.
Venturing into the mountains and through dense forests into remote regions where education was practically inaccessible, the 55-year-old teacher form the central province of Quang Ngai began offering primary education to needy children.
Of course, teaching in far flung mountain villages came with challenges that extended beyond classroom walls.
Just making it from his small house to the village center required a difficult trek along complicated walking paths and, as the bulk of his food supply came from vegetables he’d pick in the forest, severe rains could mean days without food.
“As long as my efforts help people, I won’t stop trying,” he said.
Trieu eventually settled down in a small village in the central Vietnam’s meadow of Bui Hui and began teaching the alphabet to local children in a small, makeshift classroom built by the villagers.
|Pham Van Trieu boils water for tea in his house in central Vietnam’s province of Quang Ngai. Photo: T. Mai / Tuoi Tre|
Trieu now lives a simple life in a narrow room adjacent to the classroom, relying mostly on instant noodles for substance, an old tea pot for hot water, and a rusty motorbike that’s been with him through all his ups and downs.
“Thanks to this little fellow, I feel less lonely,” Trieu said, gesturing to the worn out motorcycle.
The 55-year-old teacher said that he occasionally considers returning home to experience better living conditions but quickly reminds himself that, without an education, the children who depend on him face a bleak and uncertain future.
“I will continue try my best to teach these children no matter how difficult it becomes,” Trieu shared.
Staying in the villages as garnered him significant praise for his willingness to sacrifice his personal happiness to help children get the proper education the need to make it in the modern world.
“Our country needs more people like Trieu because there is still a serious need for help across Vietnam, especially in poor regions,” said Nguyen Minh Hai, the head teacher of a high school in Quang Ngai.
It was very cold at that time. Commander Le Quang Dao in person brought bottles of warm ginger water to every unit of the frontier post. After that, he quietly walked along the railway to explore the terrain…
Major General Le Quang Dao (right) and DPRK’s President Kim Jong Un in March 2019
Born in 1971 and gaining significant achievements in more than 30 years of military service, Major General Le Quang Dao, Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the Border Guard, is one of the young generals rich in energy and highly trusted by the army.
In March 1989, at the age of 18, he set out to join the army. After one year of serving as a soldier at Ha Nam Ninh provincial border guard, Dao went to the Border Police Officer School (now Border Guard Academy).
In September 1993, the young border guard officer set foot on Lang Son, starting a period of 27 years serving in the frontier area. At that time, he was head of the border guard team for Thanh Loa Frontier Post.
Proud image of border guards
“In my mind that day, the image of border guards was wonderful. They looked proud on horseback when going on patrol. They were good at martial arts and they gained great victories recorded in history when guarding the frontier land, hunting down bandits, protecting leaders and headquarters. Also, they made great contributions in the foreign relation front and assisted ethnic groups in border areas,” he said.
In the early 1990s, after Vietnam and China normalized relations, Lang Son became the first Vietnamese province to start cross-border trade.
Dao, who was then one of the first young border guard officers carrying out duties in the Lang Son border area in that period, together with his army companions discovered and got rid of many subjects who attempted to exploit the situation and incite people to cause uncertainties in the border area, thus harming national security.
After leaving the Thanh Loa frontier post, Dao spent five years serving as deputy head of Coc Nam Station belonging to the Tan Thanh Frontier Post (1995-1999).
The then Lieutenant Le Quang Dao was determined and ingenious in protecting every inch of the frontier land and would not let the boundary marker be displaced or encroached upon. Together with his comrades, Dao effectively fought crimes of different kinds, especially money counterfeiters and human traffickers.
Building border area of peace and friendship
In the posts of Deputy Head and Head of Huu Nghi International Border Gate Station, and then Head of Tan Thanh Frontier Post (2005-2011), he left a prominent imprint on the Lang Son frontier strip of land.
He advised the Lang Son Provincial Headquarters on the pilot implementation of joint patrols on the Vietnam-China border line.
His sharp senses and practical experience told him that apart from regular conversation and information exchange, nothing would be as effective as a joint patrol, which allowed to solve problems together.
“When we put forward the question, the Chinese side was unassertive. But later, with sincere arguments, we successfully persuaded them to cooperate for the optimal purpose of building a border line of peace, friendship and mutual development,” Dao recalled.
Joint patrol activities have brought efficiency in border management and protection, and have helped create confidence and understanding among the border soldiers of the two countries.
Major General Le Quang Dao is also one of the cadres who made important contributions to promoting border guard foreign relations on the Lang Son (Vietnam) – Guangxi (China) border.
|His sharp senses and practical experience told him that apart from regular conversation and information exchange, nothing would be as effective as a joint patrol, which allowed to solve problems together.|
Vietnam’s Huu Nghi international Frontier Post (Lang Son Provincial Border Guard) and China’s Friendship Pass became the first twinned units with the slogan ‘Friendship Check-points, Peaceful Border” in 2013.
This was followed by the village-village twinning model between the localities of Lang Son and localities in China’s border areas. This helps protect the fatherland and from a distance, with peaceful measures.
In 2008, when he moved to Tan Thanh Frontier Post, Dao, together with his soldiers, had many new victories.
The area under the management of the post, including 15 kilometers of border line and 26 villages belonging to two communes of Tan Thanh and Tan My, was a hot spot in terms of security and social order.
Under the decisive command and ingenuity of the commander, the Tan Thanh post became an exemplary bright spot in the entire Lang Son – Guang Xi border.
Some officers laid down their lives, or were injured in the struggles, including Captain Ngo Van Vinh, leader of the drug and crime prevention team.
With the motto “people as the foundation”, during his service time in Lang Son, General Dao proposed and implemented many new models and movements that brought practical benefits to local people.
Following his ideas, many generations of ethnic minority border guards have been admitted to the Communist Party before being discharged from the army.
They also created favorable conditions for vocational training, so that they could contribute to serve their homeland. And many teenagers who took false steps into drug use have been helped by Lang Son Border Guard to rebuild their lives.
Before the programs “Nang buoc em toi truong” (cherishing students’ steps to school) and “Con nuoi don bien phong” (Adopted children of frontier posts) were launched, General Dao sponsored three young people who were in extremely difficult circumstances.
Later, one of the three teenagers became the head of the Thanh Loa Commune Police (Cao Loc district), while the other two now have stable jobs.
Warm ginger water brought to every soldier
In late February and early March 2019, the world watched Hanoi, where the US-DPRK Summit and the DPRK President Kim Jong Un’s visit to Vietnam took place.
On March 2, at the 60th anniversary of the traditional Border Guard day, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said: “In recent days, the Border Guard has cooperated closely with ministries, branches, localities and appropriate forces to fulfill the task of securing conference safety.
The image of border guards on duty at the Dong Dang border station, Lang Son province, welcoming the DPRK’s leader Kim Jong Un to Vietnam by train has left impressions and good feelings in international friends.”
Recalling this event, General Dao said the Lang Son Border Guard force only had 48 hours for the preparation work to receive the DPRK leader.
At that time, the Commander of the Lang Son Border Guard Le Quang Dao stayed up all night to give instructions for the preparation.
“In the Dong Dang station area, the border guard was assigned the task of ensuring security in the area of nearly 4 square kilometers of the core zone (the most important area). Half of the troops of Lang Son Border Guard with hundreds of elite soldiers were selected to perform this particularly important task,” he recalled.
Understanding that the area where Kim Jong Un’s train passed and stayed before boarding the convoy moved to Hanoi had complicated terrain, he commanded his troops to coordinate with army forces and the police to thoroughly detect bombs, mines and obstacles.
It was very cold in Lang Son. In order to help soldiers on duty protect their health, in addition to ensuring food, drinks and clothes to keep them warm, the army medicinal unit was asked to prepare ginger water. Commander Dao in person brought the bottles of ginger water to the soldiers.
After that, he quietly walked along the railway to explore the terrain to fix problems and even minor mistakes in the environment.
“I am honored to be the first Vietnamese border guard to shake hands to welcome President Kim Jong Un to Dong Dang station. I said when he got into the train going back to his country that I wished I would once again welcome the leader back to Vietnam and go through this road. And I would be his protector then, too,” he said.
Capital residents and tourists are required to wear masks in public areas on the occasion of year-end and New Year celebrations.
Hanoi Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention released Notice No. 35 / TB-BCĐ on tightening anti-pandemic measures on the occasion of year-end and New Year celebrations.
Capital residents and tourists are required to wear masks when riding public transport; visiting public places including parks, flower gardens, pedestrian streets, squares, bus stations, markets, supermarkets, shopping mall; and when taking part in public cultural, entertainment and sport events.
The organizations and individuals who defy the quarantine measures as well as disease prevention protocol will be strictly sanctioned/ Photo: Le Giang
City’s administrative bodies are required to enhance communication on the implementation of the “5K Message”, including: Khau trang (Masks) – Khu khuan (Disinfection) – Khoang cach (Distance) – Khong tu tap (No gathering) – Khai bao y te (Medical declaration), in order to raise awareness among citizens in preventing pandemic.
In addition, Hanoi authorities are requested to enforce pandemic prevention and control measures during the New Year holiday and be ready to ensure absolute safety for the 13 th National Party Congress.
Specifically, the districts of Hoan Kiem, Hai Ba Trung, and Nam Tu Liem are required to urgently develop plan to ensure safety at fireworks display places.
Hanoi Department of Transport is tasked with ensuring safety on public transport means and premises including pier, bus station and railway station. All passengers are required to wear masks when riding means of public transportation.
Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports is required to enforce anti-pandemic measures at venues of festivals, cultural, entertainment and sports activities during the celebrations of New Year 2021 and the traditional Lunar New Year of the Buffalo.
The Department of Tourism is assigned the work of ensuring safety for travelers and enforce anti-pandemic measures at tourist sites and accommodation establishments as well as strengthen inspection disease prevention in city-approved paid quarantine places.
The Department of Industry and Trade is required to ensure the safety in supermarkets, markets, the area where Spring fairs are held, among others.
The Department of Health is tasked with strengthening supervision and early detection of suspected cases in the community; implement the timely lockdown and quarantine in case new infection is detected; thoroughly handle disease outbreak; and ensure safety in both domestic and non-public health centers in the city.
The Capital High Command, in coordination with relevant agencies, continues to closely manage centralized isolation facilities, preventing cross infection in quarantine facilities.
Hanoi Municipal Police will strictly handle cases of illegal entry, as well as people flouting pandemic prevention and control; ensure security and order at quarantine facilities.
People’s Committees of districts, towns, communes, wards and townships are required to supervise the prevention and control of pandemic in the area; focus on anti-pandemic prevention and strengthen inspection of anti-pandemic measures compliance at public spots and crowded entertainment activities.
T he organizations and individuals who defy the quarantine measures as well as disease prevention protocol will be strictly sanctioned, the Notice stressed.
On May 1, Hanoi City People’s Committee Vice Chairman Chu Xuan Dung, Head of the Hanoi Steering Committee for COVID-19 Response, led a delegation to inspect the epidemic prevention and control at two isolated facilities at InterContinental Westlake Hotel (Tay Ho District) and Lake Side Hotel (Ba Dinh District).
Dung highly praised the isolation work at the two hotels, saying that up to now, the 19 concentrated isolated areas set up at local hotels are safe without any cross-infection and spread the coronavirus into the community. In particular, the InterContinental Westlake has organised a concentrated isolation camps for nearly 1,000 foreign economists and technical experts for one year, without any positive case for SARS-CoV-2 detected.
The Hanoi official noted that hotels in the capital city that are implementing centralised isolation work must not be negligent or subjective, while continue to strictly implementing the isolation process and tightening the management to absolutely not let isolated cases contact with each other.
Also on May 1, Dung and his entourages went to inspect the prevention and control of COVID-19 at Thu Le Park, during which he urged Ba Dinh District’s authorities to strengthen anti-epidemic prevention in this area, with diversion and distancing applied on to visitors right at the entrance of the park.
Dung also asked localities across Hanoi to continue to drastically implement regulations on ensuring prevention and fighting against the epidemic in public places.
Visitors disinfect their hands before entering Thu Le Park. (Photo: NDO/Duy Linh)
The People’s Committee of Phu Cu District, Hung Yen Province, has decided to apply medical blockade on the entire Hoang Xa Village, with more than 1,200 people, from 0:00 on April 30, after identifying two positive cases (Patients No. 2,912 and 2,913) in Hoang Xa Village, Tien Commune, Phu Cu District. The People’s Committee of Hung Yen Province has mobilised the entire political system to take part in the epidemic prevention and control, boost tracing work for related cases and encourage local people to raise awareness against the pandemic.
From 0:00 am on May 1, non-essential service establishments in Hai Phong City must stop working under the direction from the People’s Committee of Hai Phong to prevent and control COVID-19. At the same time, it is imperative that all local people wear face masks when leaving their houses. Leaders of Hai Phong have checked the prevention and control of the epidemic at Cat Bi International Airport and some traffic hubs in the northern port city.
The People’s Committee of Quang Ninh Province has requested the local functional forces to immediately take measures to track down close contacts to the infected cases that have bene announced by the Ministry of Health. Local people and foreign experts and workers who have completed quarantine at quarantine establishments across the country coming to Quang Ninh from April 15 must be re-tested for SARS-CoV-2. On May 1, the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh issued a written request requiring that crowded gatherings must not be allowed at local beaches starting from 15:00 on May 1.
Ho Chi Minh City decided to suspend the operations of non-essential service establishments from 18:00 on April 30. The local health sector needs to ensure that cross-contamination does not occur in isolated camps, while increasing the frequency of testing and sampling to 50,000 samples per day.
Binh Thuan Provincial People’s Committee has issued a dispatch requesting the local units to establish working groups to inspect the work COVID-19 prevention and control at local accommodation and tourist establishments from April 30, focusing on mandatory medical declaration, travel history of visitors and complying with preventive measures. The concerned units are to take random samples to test visitors going to and from epidemic areas according to the notice from the Ministry of Health.
In the face of the increasing number of tourists coming to Da Lat – Lam Dong during the holidays amid the complicated developments of COVID-19, the People’s Committee of Lam Dong Province requested the local relevant agencies and localities to not be off-guard in the prevention and control of COVID-19. The Provincial Traffic Safety Board, local authorities and traffic police forces have been urged to strengthen patrol and strictly handle violations of traffic order and safety associated with COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control, while ensuring reasonable traffic circulation and safety.
Economic recovery in parallel with institutional reform
Director of Department for General Economic Issues and Integration Studies (CIEM) Nguyen Anh Duong said the economic growth results of 2020 and Q1 2021 again affirmed that appropriate and flexible adjustments have been made to the Government’s direction and administration, persisting with the dual goals of drastically and effectively combating COVID-19 and focusing on reviving and promoting domestic production. It is the proactive and methodical management associated with updating the pandemic situation and evaluating growth scenarios, thereby retaining policy space to cope with future scenarios and constantly create further space for new economic activities. Reforms in the business environment and supporting businesses have seen continuity with the previous years, receiving high consensus from the community, enterprises and people. On the side of businesses, there has also been adaptation in terms of organising production, using workers and applying new business models and methods.
In this report, CIEM assesses Vietnam’s economic prospects for 2021-2023 based on three scenarios corresponding to management solutions. Specifically, CIEM predicts the average annual GDP growth during the period at 6.35% regarding the scenario with normal solutions at present, 6.69% in the scenario of loosened fiscal and monetary policy, and 6.76% concerning the scenario of loosened fiscal and monetary policies and institutional reform. “Thus, if the Government only loosens the fiscal and monetary policy, economic growth may be higher, but it will be accompanied by greater inflationary pressure. Meanwhile, if breakthroughs are achieved in the quality of institutional reform, leading to improved growth quality in parallel with appropriate monetary and fiscal easing measures, the average annual GDP growth rate could reach 6.76% in the 2021-2023 period, accompanied by significant improvement in productivity. Then, Vietnam’s economy will recover faster and more sustainably, even when the world economy remains with uncertainties,” Duong emphasised.
From these scenarios, CIEM recommends that Vietnam, despite considered one of the countries with successful pandemic control, should develop a long-term plan to avoid the risks of “exhausted” policy space and decreased motivation for economic institutional reform in the future. The economic recovery process should go hand in hand with economic institutional reform. If the economy recovers slowly, economic institutional reform will lack the necessary consensus and motivation, while not creating drastic changes to meet the requirements of the economy. CIEM has also proposed a policy roadmap for the 2021-2023 period, which is to continue effectively containing the disease, removing difficulties for the business community and workers, and reforming economic institutions in 2021. From 2022, economic recovery solutions will be combined with institutional reforms, gradually reducing growth recovery support measures to focus on economic institutional reform in 2023.
Prioritising measures to improve labour productivity
One of the other priority policies suggested by CIEM to be accelerated in the coming time is to issue policies and allocate necessary resources to focus on improving and developing the labour market, thereby increasing labour productivity and promoting the process of economic restructuring. Deputy Director of Department for Sectoral Policy Studies (CIEM) Le Thi Xuan Quynh said that Vietnam’s labour market has seen many positive transitions in recent years. Labour has shifted from agriculture to the industrial and service sectors; from the informal sector to the formal sector; from unstable and precarious jobs (self-employment, unpaid family work) to more stable, sustainable and secure jobs; from simple occupations to those requiring high skills and technology; and from areas with low labour productivity to areas with higher labour productivity.
In addition, workers’ awareness of social insurance and unemployment insurance has improved significantly, with the proportion of workers participating in voluntary social insurance and unemployment insurance having increased remarkably compared to previously. However, the Vietnamese labour market still reveals many shortcomings. The system of legal normative documents and policies does not yet fully cover the subjects in the market. In general, the Vietnamese labour market is still a labour surplus market and sees serious imbalance in labour supply and demand among regions, areas and economic sectors.
Given that fact, it will be very difficult to realise the goal of restructuring the economy gradually from growth based on increasing quantity and production inputs to growth based on increasing productivity and quality of labour, science and technology application, and innovation. In the coming period, the international economic context promises to see many unpredictable changes and fluctuations, together with the strong development of the fourth Industrial Revolution and climate change. Vietnam will need to pay strong attention to perfecting institutions and policies on human resource training and the creation of jobs for workers. To achieve that goal, it is necessary to renovate the resource allocation mechanism in the direction of actively promoting the transition of production resources to industries and fields with greater competitiveness, higher labour productivity and better contributions to the economic development process, including labour resources. In addition, the salary policy for employees should be considered and adjusted in conjunction with the development of intermediary institutions and social security and insurance mechanisms for workers to promote market development towards modernity, efficiency and integration, thus accelerating the modernity-oriented economic restructuring.