Imbalances create worker shortages

The current figure, as provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, is about 45,600 workers, including those working at State corporations, industrial parks and localities. The report says there is an imbalance in human resource structure among different sub-sectors. For example, those involved in land management account for 55 percent of the total number while those involved with water resources and hydro-meteorology stay at a low 1 percent.

Brazilian film festival in Hanoi gets underway

The event was organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam Department of Cinema. Tickets are free and can be obtained from the Brazil Embassy and the National Cinema Centre.

Dac Lac hangs on to vanishing heritage

Buon Trap Town in Krong Ana District boasts an all-woman team playing the Jo, a gong designed exclusively for women of the E De ethnic group. "Buon Trap is one of many locations in the province where gongs have been sold to traders that can never be replaced again," said Y Wai Bya, director of Dac Lac's Culture, Sports and Tourism Department.

Better local care offers answer to crowded hospitals

This was agreed at a recent seminar on primary health care in commune health clinics held in Hoa Binh. Dr Jean Marc Olive, World Health Organisation Representative in Viet Nam, said Viet Nam had made positive changes to improve the national health sector, but problems remained on dividing treatment between primary and secondary-care. He said this was standing in the way of an efficient healthcare system.

Lecturers told to use teaching methods that foster creativity

At the workshop on teaching methods, speakers noted that the Ministry of Education and Training had asked universities nationwide to apply new methodologies in the classroom. However, rote learning, with students only listening to lectures and not asking questions, was still the predominant method used at the university level, according to Dr. Pham Duc Chinh of the University of Economics and Law under Viet Nam National University-HCM City. Chinh said the traditional methods encouraged only passive learning, with many students unwilling to do research in the library or Internet.

Higher education audit plagued by inexperience

A total of 185 out of more than 400 universities and colleges across the country have completed the self-assessment review. The Ministry of Education and Training plans that by 2015, 90 per cent of universities and colleges will have completed the work. The self-assessment review started at the beginning of 2008, and is intended to improve university and college quality in terms of syllabus, facilities and student results. However, most academic staff taking part in the survey claimed that the review was an unfamiliar process.

Sale of stockpiled medicine to help ensure supply, low prices

The national medicine circulation reserve plan allowed the ministry to sell reserve medicines in case of necessity at a market equivalent or lower prices, he said at a meeting held on Tuesday, as part of the implementation of the Prime Minister's directive on price stabilisation measures. Three State-owned companies were taking part in the reserve plan with between 3,000-3,500 kinds of drugs and treatments stockpiled and these could be released for sale at any time.

Scientists meet on environment protection

The two-day conference, held by the National University in HCM City, has attracted more than 45 delegates from academic and other institutions around the country. They are discussing 61 research works in three main areas of climate change – impact on urban life and IPs, solid and liquid waste management and recycling, and environmental quality management.

Sustainable urban development and climate change

The increasing population density will impose threats on sustainable development of Việt Nam’s Mekong Delta, Red River Delta, and central coastal areas. The sea level rise is the biggest growing danger for human living space. Repeated droughts and flood in the Central Region, rising tide in Hồ Chí Minh City, and unusual flood season in the Mekong Delta are vivid examples of the global climate change. Unplanned urban development and rising fertility also exacerbate the climate change effects.

VN takes the lead in narrowing gender gap, Minister says

Việt Nam’s gender development index (GDI) rose to 0.732 percentage point in 2009 from 0.537 in 1995. Women account for 26% of the NA deputies, and with this figure, Việt Nam ranks the 1st and 4th in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region respectively.

Khmer people celebrate Ooc Om Boc festival

The festival featured various activities such as exhibitions displaying the traditional cultures of the Kinh, Hoa and Khmer people, a public art programme, Khmer costumes and an ethnic food festival. A seminar on Khmer ethnic people and a 426-booth trade fair displaying agricultural equipment and products from 172 entrepreneurs was also held as part of the event.

Nearly VND2 trillion allocated for child protection

The project aims to create a better living environment where all children are protected, with priority given to underprivileged and highly vulnerable children. It will also take proactive measures to prevent and minimize risks to children and provide opportunities for abused children to reintegrate into the community.

Educational institutions to be moved out of inner-cities

"The relocation is necessary and will contribute to the improvement of teaching," said Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga. Universities located in Ha Noi's inner urban areas would be partly or completely relocated to eight university-college zones in suburban areas. The decision comes as part of the capital's construction master plan towards 2030 proposed by the Ministry of Construction.

Functional foods are fine, but safety counts

Food scientists, however, also stressed the need to ensure that the ingredients and processes applied meet "global sound scientific standards" for food safety. Dr Mary Schmidl, adjunct professor of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) Scientific Council Chair, mentioned the need for making smaller portions of all foods, including functional foods.

Passengers suffer on run-down buses

The HCM City Transport Cooperative Association has recorded that as many as 70 per cent of buses operating in the city are in poor condition and in need of repairs. "We hear quite often a lot of complaints about the bus service from passengers," said a bus driver at the Ben Thanh Bus Station in District 1 who wished to remain unnamed.

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