Back to school for three seniors
  • | VietNamNet, | January 29, 2014 10:34 AM

Three elderly men in northern Bac Giang Province are locally famous for further higher education after retirement.


Nguyen Van Thanh (left) and Hoang An studying together

Hoang An, 81, Nguyen Van Thanh, 74 and Ngo The Hung, 55, are now students of economic regulations at Hanoi Open University – Bac Giang Branch.

When Hoang An was young, he had to quit school at the sixth grade because of his family’s economic difficulties. He took it upon himself to study at home up to the eighth grade, and was then employed to Y Bac Foreign Trade Company. In 1970 the company subsidised him to attend a one-year pre-university class at University of Foreign Affairs before officially studying accounting and finance at University of Trade fpr five years.

After he finished his study he was employed as head of Ha Bac Foreign Trade Company’s finance department and worked there until he retired in 1980.

After his retirement, he spent much of his time studying history of his hometown and he became greatly interested in the subject.

Even though he organised several seminars on the subject, he had difficulties organising his ideas in a coherent way, so he decided to go back to school for economic regulations.


Preparing for school

“I decided to study this major because it gives me an opportunity to study both legal and economic issues at the same time, which would equip me with a scientific basis for historical research,” Hoang An said.

“When I went to my first class, many of my young classmates respectfully greeted me as if I were the professor. We all had fun when I told them I was a fellow student," he added.

Hoang An's decision to go back to school also inspired others to do so, such as Nguyen Van Thanh, a former official of Bac Giang provincial People’s Procuracy. Hoang An’s study has inspired Thanh to further study at the same university.

“I want to learn about legal regulations on economics to be able to provide consultancy to local residents in my hometown,” Thanh said.

Ngo The Hung, the youngest of the group, worked as a military criminal investigator for 12 years. He wanted to study economic regulations to set up a law firm.

Hung faced some difficulties during the first days because his wife and family did not agree with his decision.

Over the past four years, the three elderly students have accompanied each other on their way to school in Bac Giang City, which is around seven kilometres from their homes.


Hoang An’s student card

They often gather at Hoang An’s house on the weekends for group studying sessions.

Hoang An has been invited to Hanoi several times to share his learning experience to inspire the younger generations in their studies.

His tuition fees have been cut in half and he has been provided with free learning materials for five years.

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