Fulfilling a university dream
  • | | July 12, 2011 09:52 PM

Truong Thi Thuong has been left stunted due to the affects of Agent Orange dioxin poisoning, but the woman has succeeded in one of her life ambitions – qualifying for university.

Thuong hopes to become an IT expert

The 70cm tall and less than 30kg in weight woman has been admitted to Danang University of Education.

Thuong was born in 1989 into a poor family in the northern mountainous district of Dai Loc, Quang Nam Province. Thuong weighed just 1.5kg when she was born, and it soon became clear that she was heavily affected by dioxin poisoning.

However, Thuong didn’t let her disability dissuade her from seeking an education, winning certificates of merit at primary, secondary and high school.

Thuong unlike countless others was fortunate enough to have her story reported on some years ago by a journalist. A generous reader, inspired by her dedication provided her with a computer.

However, life seemed to continue to throw obstacles in Thuong’s path to academic achievement.

“I had a computer book, but the floods we had in 2009 ruined it. I want to study information and technology,” Thuong shared.

One of Thuong’s teachers Vo Thi Ha said, “Despite her disabilities, Thuong was very hard-working. She was never absent from class even she sometimes had to lie motionless in the class due to sickness. Thuong always listened to the teachers, and tried to study what she did not understand.”

At the recent university entrance exams, Thuong applied to Danang University of Education’s Information and Technology Faculty of to continue her dream.

After completing Maths on July 4, Truong Thi Thuong received an ‘exceptional admittance’ to study at her favourite faculty.

Parental support

Thuong’s parents also played a part in the woman’s success. They turns to take her to school, an added burden to the seven-member family that mainly depends on the meagre earnings of VND2 million (USD97) a month from their tea stall.

Thuong’s mother Mrs Hue was delighted to hear that her daughter had been admitted to university. She said, “I’ll accompany my daughter to Danang and carry her to class every day. I will stop running the tea stall and find another job in Danang.”

She recalled her daughter’s efforts, “She had to spend more than four hours walking to and from school four times a day. Sometimes at the height of noon, she’d faint, so I’d use water to clean her face. But the most memorable incident was in 2007, when we were hit by a sudden whirlwind that knocked us to the ground. Thuong had both her hands broken.”

“Thuong may be unlucky in some respects, but I think with an education, she’ll find a job in the future,” Hue said.


Universities slow to improve disabled student access

Despite a Ministry of Education and Training circular issued in February this year on prioritising disabled pupils in university entrance exams, few universities have improved access, Tien Phong newspaper reported.

For disabled pupils who need daily help, university heads have to consider their school reports and health condition and instruct faculties to vet students that have applied to study. Pupils sufficiently capable of university study will be admitted without sitting entrance examinations.

Other less disabled pupils have had to attend university entrance examinations like ordinary candidates.

However, many universities have continued to refuse to enrol disabled students such as the University of Social Sciences and Humanities under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi, and the University of Transport and Communications. They have put forward various excuses including a lack of planning in terms of accepting students with disabilities or have claimed that their facilities were not capable of hosting the disabled.

According to VTC News, during this year’s university entrance exams, 30 disabled pupils were directly enrolled into university without attending any tests.

Hue University and Ho Chi Minh City University of Pedagogy enrolled 10 disabled students each, followed by Danang University of Education and Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City admitting four each, with the Hanoi Law University and Vinh University receiving one each respectively.



Admirable achievements

Thuong and her mother



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