"I am so brave": The controversial story that has prompted the education ministry to recall the book
The Ministry of Education and Training has ordered a state-owned publisher to recall all copies of a life-skills book which includes a controversial lesson on bravery that encourages first graders to walk barefoot on broken glass.
The Vietnam Education Publishing House will face punitive measures for the book, which was launched last June.
Many parents have expressed anger at the book after learning about the "bravery" story and a photo of a girl standing happily on shards of glass.
In the story, the little girl was told by her teacher to walk barefoot on the pile of shards. She was so afraid at first, but later overcame her fear and finished the task.
The story concluded that everyone should be as brave as the girl and try to conquer whatever fears they may have.
According to the publisher, the version that contained the story was an old one. The book has been reprinted without the story.
Doctor Phan Quoc Viet, the chief author of the book, did not think there's anything wrong with the lesson.
He told local media that walking barefoot on broken glass is an important skill, just like swimming, and can help children survive dangerous situations.
Viet said that in practice, trainers will have to carefully select the right pieces of glass and arrange them on the floor in a way that no kids will be harmed.
He added that at his training center for children, there have never been any injuries.
Many parents pointed out that his book, however, did not have a single warning about what could happen if children practice the walking at home without any guidance.
They said the book had a wrong idea about bravery and encouraged children to engage in dangerous acts.