VietNamNet Bridge – “History needs to be respected. We cannot keep silent
about the truth,” – is the viewpoint of history teachers, who have urged to put
the lessons about the 1979 border war into the curricula.
Dr. Nguyen Duc Hoa, Dean of History Faculty of the Saigon University, said that
the lessons about the 1979 border war would be put into the teaching program at
History events need to be put into the textbooks and lesson programs at schools
from general schools to universities. The events about the resistance wars
against the US imperialist, French colonialist and Japan all have been shown in
the history textbooks and taught at schools to Vietnamese students. However,
this does not affect the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the countries.
The fights against aggressors, including the ones against military against Song,
Ming aggressors and Mong-Yuan invaders, are a part of Vietnam’s history. The
events have also been shown in history textbooks and put into the official
“Why don’t we put the lessons about the 1979 border war into the new 2015
textbooks, if this is a just war of the Vietnamese people?” he questioned.
“We need to teach about the 1979 border war, because this is a behavior of
respecting the history. I am now compiling the lesson plans for the historical
period after 1975 and I will surely write the lessons about the 1979 border
war,” he said.
Dr. Nguyen Canh Hue, Acting Dean of the History Faculty of the HCM City
University of Education, also thinks that one must not keep silent about the
In fact, the war has been mentioned in the current history textbooks already,
but the lessons about it have not been provided in details for many reasons.
However, he believes that it’s now the right time for Vietnam to give more
details about the war, so that the next generations of Vietnamese and the people
in the world have true understanding about the historical event.
“The 1979 border war is a part of the nation’s history,” he said. Meanwhile, he
has expressed his worry that if the details about the war cannot be shown in an
official way in textbooks, Vietnamese students may get confused amid different
sources of information.
Tran Dinh Phuc, a history teacher of a high school, has emphasized that
Vietnamese students and people need to have sufficient information about the
nation’s history and must learn lessons from the history.
In fact, the 1979 border war was once mentioned in the history curriculum for
12th graders. However, the Ministry of Education and Training, when guiding the
implementation of the teaching curricula, decided to cut the lessons about the
war, and the 1978 southwest war as well.
Phuc has also expressed his worry that Vietnamese students may read untrue
information about the events from unofficial sources – a very easy work in the
digital era, and they may have untrue understanding about the nation’s history.
Dr. Do Thanh Binh from the Hanoi University of Education also thinks that the
war took place 30 years ago, a long time enough to talk about it now.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Education and Training–Nguyen Vinh Hien, when
talking with the local press, said the ministry is considering the issue.
Van Chung – Le Huyen