The strange question raised by the FPT University at the university entrance exams has raised controversy on education forums and local newspapers. Some believe that the question was vulgar, while others say they cannot see any problems here.
The question is described as “strange” because such a question has never been posed before in the history of the university entrance exams in Vietnam. Examinees were asked to write an essay, showing their viewpoint about the virginity in the modern times.
A more notable reason that made the question “strange” is that it was raised by FPT University, an information technology school which specializes in training information technology and providing natural and economics sciences.
Quoting a paragraph in Kieu Tale of the great poet Nguyen Du, the question directs the conversation up to the subject of virginity. In the past, when girls lose their virginity, their marriage would be broken and the girls would be returned to their families. However, nowadays, the “maidenhead” is not too important for young people any more. Especially, the movement of living together before marriage has been applauded by many people.
Students were then asked how they think about the virginity, if girls should keep virginity until the wedding day, and if the virginity plays the important role in the life of couples.
While all have agreed that the question was strange and unfamiliar, they have been arguing about the significance of the question.
Professor Nguyen Minh Thuyet, Deputy Chair of the National Assembly’s Committee for Culture, Education, the Youth and Children, commented that the FPT University’s question was profanity. Associate Professor Dr Van Gia said the “virginity question” of FPT University made a serious mistake.
Associate Professor Dr Do Ngoc Thong from the Vietnam Education Institute, has also violently criticized the question raised by FPT University.
In recent years, Vietnamese schools, which were criticized for setting up uninspired literature questions, which could not encourage the creativeness of students, nowadays tend to pose unfamiliar and creative questions.
Recently, a literature teacher of the Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted asked her students to write an essay to show their thoughts about money. Nguyen Trung Hieu, a student of the physics majoring class then has become famous for his essay which touched the hearts of many people.
Ngoc thinks that the virginity could be raised as a topic of a discussion during lessons, while it must not be laid down as a question in an exam.
“The US is well-known as having a liberal education with high democracy, where teachers have high rights to choose syllabuses and teaching methods. However, I have never seen such a strange question like the question about the virginity of FPT University,” Ngoc said.
Meanwhile, Professor Nguyen Lan Dung, a well-known scientist and educator, said that he cannot see anything which comes contrary to the Vietnamese habits and customs.
What do students think?
Le Thi Ha, a student of Dien Chau 5 High School in Nghe An province, said that she would be able to do the exercise, even though she does not have deep knowledge about the issue which was the topic of the question.
“I think I would advocate the viewpoint that girls should maintain their virginity,” Ha said.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai from Marie Curie High School in district 3 of HCM City said that if she had attended the exam, she would have failed, because she does not have enough knowledge and life experience to discuss the issue.
“The question requires students have deep knowledge about social issues,” she said.
Meanwhile, Tran Anh Duc, a student of the Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted, thinks that one should keep an open viewpoint on the issue.
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