Math book or horror story?

A mathematics book for students in the first grade has recently aroused fury among many people due to its violent content.

Though the book titled “Phép cộng trừ phạm vi 100” (Addition and Subtraction Within 100), which was written by Hoàng Long, has been on sale for the last ten years, it has only become widely known recently, and immediately attracted public outcry with an exercise on page No. 11 which is considered by many people to be a horror story.

The exercise, which features the following question, “You have ten fingers on your two hands.

Imagine that you play with a knife and accidentally chop off two of your fingers.

How many fingers are left?”, has attracted further criticism for its illustration depicting a hand with two fingers cut off.

Many parents said the exercise is offensive and not educational at all.

In a book which is introduced for “Use besides 1st grade’s text books” on the cover, such a bloody illustration is unacceptable.

“The poor kids! They must be freaked out learning with such a book,” Tran Duy Huy, a netizen commented.

Nguyen Minh Nhut, director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Tre Publishing House, whose name was printed on the book’s cover as its publisher, said that his company didn’t license such an offensive book.

According to him, the license code on the book’s cover is the code of a license that Tre publisher gave to another book titled “Hoc Nhanh Toan” (Learn Math Fast).

“We could invite functional agencies to investigate the case,” Nhut confirmed.

Moreover, Hoang Long, the book’s author, added more fuel to the fire by saying he did cooperate with Tre publishing in 2002 to release some of his books, but he doesn’t remember the names of the people he worked with due to the amount of time that has passed and his old age.

“In 2003 – 2004, Thanh Nghia Book Enterprise bought all the books I wrote, including a series of 1st grade books licensed by Tre Publisher.

So, I didn’t have copyright of the series anymore and was no longer responsible for it,” Long added.

At the meeting with Tre Publishing House on June 8, Thanh Nghia confirmed that it purchased some books by Hoang Long but it was not sure that “Phép cộng trừ phạm vi 100” was among them.

So far, information about who is responsible for printing and releasing this book has remained unclear.

 Source: Tuoi Tre Online


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