The Vietnamese Teachers’ Day November 20 is really a significant day for Vietnamese students and teachers. Many years ago, colorful flowers seemed to be the biggest and most valuable gifts to teachers. However, nowadays, students give teachers “envelopes” instead of flowers, because they think that teachers can use the money to buy the things they want, while flowers prove to be useless and they wither rapidly.
Minh, who has a daughter who is a fifth grader of the Nghia Tan School in Hanoi, said that she is busy these days thinking about what gifts to give to teachers. In order to buy suitable gifts, Minh has to learn about the hobby and the taste of every teacher, and she has to buy different gifts for different teachers. Besides, every gift must be associated with an envelope with 500,000 dong inside.
As such, Minh said she has to spend 4 million dong on the Vietnamese Teachers’ Day. “There are too many students in a class. If you want the teachers to take care about your children, you need to give them gifts,” she explained.
Like Minh, Thao, who lives on Hue Street in Hanoi, has also kicked off a campaign on “taking care for teachers” on the occasion of the Vietnamese Teachers’ Day. Thao said that in previous year, she only had to prepare gifts for the teachers of the elderly child, who was a third grader. Meanwhile, the sum of money to be spent on the day is expected to double this year, because the younger child begins going to school this year.
When asked about the sums of money to be given to teachers as “gift”, Thao said that an envelope with 500,000 dong inside would be given to the head teacher. Meanwhile, the teachers of other subjects would get 300,000 dong, which according to Thao, is an “acceptable level” for the teachers in big cities.
Both Minh and Thao believe that if they do not offer gifts to teachers on the occasion of the teachers’ day, their children would be “ignored” in the class. Especially, if teachers do not satisfactory with the children, because their parents do not offer gifts on the important day, they would give bad marks to the students. Teachers live on “envelopes”
If a teacher receives 500,000 dong on the teachers’ day from every student, the total sum of money he receives on that day is really big, if noting that there are about 50 students in every class.
Y, a teacher, revealed that the sum of money she receives on the teachers’ day is big enough to feed her family for many months. She said that previously, she worked for a village school in Chuc Son. Since the school is small and the local residents are poor, she did not much expect on the teachers’ day.
However, later, she luckily left for another school in Dong Da district in Hanoi after giving a bribery of 100 million dong. Now she feels happy because she believes this is a right decision. Y said she does not live on salaries, but on the “envelopes” she receives on important holidays during a year, including the Women’s Day, Mid-autumn festival holiday, Teachers’ Day, New Year and Tet.
She has revealed that the envelopes bring the income which is even higher than the salary she gets from the State. The envelopes have helped her clear debts, and she hopes she can buy luxury motorbikes the next year.
The teachers in poor villages may feel jealous with the teachers in big cities, because they do not receive money or valuable gifts on that day. T, a teacher of a school in Chuong My district in Hanoi said that local students are not poor and they do not have money to buy gifts for teachers. Man Chi