The British Embassy Hanoi and DFID Vietnam’s representatives met with the students who had demonstrated what they could do to promote youth integrity and support the fight against corruption.
One participant in the ASEAN Youth Forum presented the group's action plan developed during the event.
On 30 August 2011 the UK Anti-Corruption Team from the British Embassy Hanoi and DFID Vietnam welcomed a group of students who recently won a competition “Students & Integrity: What’s Gained and What’s Lost”, which recognised the efforts of young people in highlighting and tackling the scourge of corruption. The competition was organised by the FACE Club (For A Clean Education) at Hoa Sen University in Ho Chi Minh City with support from Towards Transparency. The group also included four students who visited Jakarta in April this year to participate in the ASEAN Youth Forum.
The group showcased their impressive winning video ‘’Hands’’, which tackles the sensitive issue of cheating and the ‘’envelope’’ culture in education. The video stirred up a vibrant discussion on the challenges of corruption in education and the potential long term consequences. The students were also keen to explore what more the youth of Vietnam could do to fight against this culture. The UK team encouraged the students to continue to look for innovative ways to draw attention to this challenging issue. The UK team also highlighted that a number of youth organisations had recently successfully applied for funding through the Vietnam Anti Corruption Initiative (VACI), which is co-funded by DFID.
Mr. Pham Quoc Loc, Lecturer at Hoa Sen University and Chairman of FACE Club, said: ‘’The most difficult and most unacceptable fact is that everyone knows that it is wrong to do so, but they still do it’’.
Le Hong Trang, a student from HCMC, said: ‘’It is really hard to keep yourself ‘’integral’’ in such an environment where the envelope culture is prevailing. Nobody is acting as you are and others might see you as odd’’.
Le Minh Thanh Hieu, another student from HCMC, said: ‘’Students these days are very practical about allocating their time and effort resources. If the knowledge and skills they gain through their education are not enough for them to find a job later, they might cheat to get good marks without any effort. These students might then cheat later at workplace’’.
Ms. Fiona Lappin, Head of DFID Vietnam, praised the group for their dynamism and determination. She told the students ‘We believe in your initiatives and we agree that it is vital that your generation takes a stand to stop the envelope culture and other corrupt practices. Otherwise, they will be passed on from one generation to the next’’.
‘’Students & Integrity: What’s Gained and What’s Lost’’ is an essay, drama and video clip competition among high school and university students, organized by FACE Club, Hoa Sen University in partnership with Towards Transparency from 10 April to 12 July 2011 in HCMC. Via the competition, the students tried to depict all the gains they enjoy and the losses they face from being integral students. For more, please visit - http://www.facebook.com/hoasen.trungthuc2011.
The FACE Club, which was launched in 2010, is a joint initiative between Hoa Sen University and Ben Tre College. By joining the Club, heads of schools and students are committed to participating in the prevention and the fight against corruption in Vietnamese education. For more, please visit http://faceclub.hoasen.edu.vn/.
Financially supported by Towards Transparency, six young Vietnamese students participated in the ASEAN Youth Forum and an Anti-corruption Youth Workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia. The workshop focused on how social media can be used to promote youth integrity. The knowledge exchange this time targets the promotion of youth integrity and transparency in ASEAN community. For more, please visit the website.
VACI is an initiative owned by the Vietnam General Inspectorate (GI), co-organized by GI and the World Bank in Vietnam with support from different bilateral donors. The twice-yearly programme aims to implant innovative ideas in corruption fighting and transparency strengthening.
The theme for VACI 2011 is “Strengthening public integrity and law implementation for effective anti-corruption”. For more, please visit www.worldbank.org.