(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.

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