(HBO) - Hoa Binh province was the first mountainous locality in the country that has eradicated illiteracy and been honoured with commendation from President Ho Chi Minh in January 1961.
In November 1948, the leader sent a letter of commendation to people and teachers joining the education movement in Thanh Nong commune (now part of Ba Hang Doi township, Lac Thuy district) in recognition of their efforts in successfully eradicating illiteracy, becoming the first area in the province to have triumphed over "ignorance”, contributing to the nation's efforts to build a learning society.
A mountainous province, yet Hoa Binh has ranked 34th among the 63 provinces and cities that meet the standard of Level-2 illiteracy eradication. This is a solid foundation for the locality to build a learning society in the new stage of development.
In 1965, UNESCO designated September 8th every year as the International Literacy Day. The designation signifies the importance of literacy in human development. It aims to call for global efforts to eradicate illiteracy. UNESCO asserts that eliminating illiteracy is synonymous with eradicating poverty, constituting a monumental political, economic, and social task, and laying a crucial foundation for each nation's journey towards a sustainable future.
Generations of teachers and students of Le Quy Don Secondary School (Hoa Binh city) visit the school's traditional room.
In Vietnam, the determination to eradicate illiteracy was highlighted by President Ho Chi Minh. Seventy-eight years ago, on September 8, 1945 - just five days after the leader read out the Declaration of Independence to declare the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the Government issued three Decrees (No. 17, 19, 20) on combating illiteracy, highlighting the popular education movement as both a revolutionary movement and a national educational institution. Earlier, in the first meeting of the Government Council on September 3, 1945, the President emphasised that an urgent task at that time was to eradicate illiteracy - the second most crucial after combating hunger.
Accordingly, on September 8, 1945, the popular education department was established under Decree No. 19. The popular education movement quickly spread widely nationwide.
At the launching ceremony of "the whole country emulate building a learning society, promoting lifelong learning in the 2023 – 2030 period” movement, representatives from the Ministry of Education and Training affirmed that since President Ho Chi Minh launched a movement to eradicate illiteracy, no national emulation movement has been launched in the field of learning society. This is the continuation of achievements of the emulation movement launched by President Ho Chi Minh 78 years ago.
Upholding this spirit in the renewal period, Vietnam is taking many practical actions to eliminate illiteracy nationwide in general and among ethnic minorities and mountainous people in particular.
Identifying the care for and protection of the rights and interests of workers as the focal task, the Labour Federation of Yen Thuy district in Hoa Binh province has brought into play the role of trade unions, thereby winning trust from employees of agencies, units, and enterprises and helping promote emulation movements to contribute to local socio-economic development.
Effective use of concessional loans from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) has been seen as a "key” for poor households and policy beneficiaries in the mountainous district of Da Bac to improve income and better the quality of life towards sustainable poverty reduction.
The association of the elderly of Hang Tram town continues to be one of the leading units in the emulation movement "The Old age – the Bright example” in Yen Thuy district in 2023. It has made efforts to promote its core role in building a strong association organisation in the locality.
Hoa Binh won two prizes at the "Listening to your children” contest held by the Vietnam Women’s Union to raise gender equality awareness among ethnic students.
In recent years, Women’s Union chapters in Hoa Binh province have paid attention to creating jobs and supporting women to start their businesses, especially for poor women and those in remote and ethnic minority areas.
We visited Houaphanh province in Laos for the first time in May 2023. During the trip, our Lao friend enthusiastically shared that there is a man named Phu Son Tham Ma Vi Say in the local Don village who has his origin from the Muong ethnic group and was the former Deputy Governor of Houaphanh.