The ceremony is part of a series of events honoring one of Vietnam’s most respected educators, which are jointly held by the UNESCO and local government.
The event saw attendance of Politburo member Vuong Dinh Hue, Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee and Head of the municipal delegation of National Assembly deputies; Nguyen Xuan Thang, Secretary of the Party Central Committee (PCC), Director of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council; Le Hoai Trung, PCC member, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Viet Nam National Commission for UNESCO; Chu Ngoc Anh, PCC member, Deputy Secretary of the municipal Party Committee and Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee; Ngo Thi Thanh Hang, PCC member, Permanent Deputy Secretary of the municipal Party Committee (tenure XVI); Nguyen Thi Tuyen, Permanent Deputy Secretary of the municipal Party Committee; Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, Deputy Secretary of the municipal Party Committee and Standing Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Council; and Nguyen Van Phong, Deputy Secretary of the municipal Party Committee.
Joining the celebration were Michael Croft, Chief representative of UNESCO office in Vietnam; leaders of Hai Duong Provinces; representatives of intellectuals, students, and people of Hanoi; ambassadors and representatives of international organizations in the city.
At the ceremony, delegates offered incense to the ancestors and educator Chu Van An at the premise.
Chu Van An was born in 1292 in Van Thon village, now part of Thanh Tri district in Hanoi. He is widely known for his dedication to the humanistic education philosophy, regardless of the wealth and social status of his students.
One of his key teachings was learning should go hand in hand with practicing and learning is a lifetime undertaking.
King Tran Minh Tong appointed him principal of Quoc Tu Giam, Vietnam’s first university, in Hanoi.
After Tran Minh Tong passed away, the reign of his successor, Tran Vuong or Tran Hien Tong was ephimeral.
Hien Tong’s heir, Tran Du Tong, then five years old, who was more interested in the pursuit of pleasure than ruling, left the country in chaos and the government full of corrupt mandarins. An tried to convince the king and in a last-ditch effort to save the country, submitted a petition to behead seven mandarins he believed had subverted the system for their own benefit.
After his petition was ignored, An gave up his title and position and retreated to a mountainous area in Chi Linh District, Hai Duong Province, to open a school. In 1370, he passed away in Hai Duong.
An altar was erected in his honor in the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, where he is revered.
Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Chu Ngoc Anh speaks at the event.
Addressing the ceremony, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh affirmed that educator Chu Van An has been a symbol for the traditional fondness for learning of the Vietnamese people, as well as efforts to overcome difficulties in the pursuit of knowledge.
An’s thoughts and wisdom not only left a lasting legacy on Vietnamese education, but also contributed to promoting national humanistic values, he stressed.
Chu Van An becomes the fourth Vietnamese to be honored by UNESCO after Nguyen Trai, a Confucian scholar, poet, politician, and master strategist, President Ho Chi Minh and poet Nguyen Du.
At the ceremony, UNESCO Chief Representative in Vietnam Michael Croft said following the footstep of educator Chu Van An, education should be seen as a life-long process that is essential for the sustainable development of individuals, families, communities and the whole nation.