Recent incident brings scrutiny on textbook publishers
  • | nld, | March 15, 2013 03:25 PM
 >>  Children's book withdrawn from market for containing Chinese flag

The editing and censorship of children's textbooks has come under recent scrutiny after certain 'mistakes' were caught in their content.


Book recalled for containing image of Chinese flag 

The book that started the controversy, published by Dantri Publishing House in conjunction with partners, claimed that it was based on the preschool curriculum set by the Ministry of Education and Training, leading most to believe that the author was Vietnamese. Some parents were greatly angered that their children's books contained an image of the Chinese flag.

There was also an historical concern in another book, which claimed that Ly Thuong Kiet had ordered the famous wooden spikes to be embedded in Bach Dang River to stop invading forces. According to conventional Vietnamese history it was Ngo Quyen who devised the strategy. 

This historical mistake was part of a penmanship exercise, not a history lesson.

Other textbooks for kindergarten and primary children from Danang Publishing House, Fine Art Publishing House were also found to have various spelling mistakes.

One educator said she was mystified that the Publishing Department or the Ministry of Information were not more quick to detect mistakes.

According to current regulation, the Ministry of Education and Training only issues textbooks. Schools are responsible for the selection their course books, but must report any mistakes they contain to authorities.

This has made for a situation in which some imported textbooks can be adopted by schools without official evaluation of their content.

Nguyen Minh Thuyet, the former Vice Chairman of the NA Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children, said the MoET should create a process to examine books that are used in schools.

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