Nguyen Huu Manh believes giving a touch of showbiz to finance and monetary economics would give his students a ‘relaxing exam atmosphere,’ but many did not seem to agree.
Manh, who teaches at Nha Trang University in south-central Vietnam, used the names of many local public figures to make questions for his latest finance and monetary economics exam, with some photos of the controversial test leaked online earlier this week.
Test takers were asked to use monetary knowledge to solve problems based on several scenarios, in which instead of using symbolic names such as Mr. X or Company Y as per common practices, the teacher devised situations with real celebrities and suggestive language involved.
According to the description of the situations, showbiz figures, including three singers, a comedian, a beauty queen and an infamous online sensation, grow and exchange fruits in “a simple economy,” a hypothetical economy where there is no government or foreign trade, usually used in teaching income determination theories.
There are two versions of the test, done on December 24, with the same questions but the names used in the scenarios are different, apparently to prevent students from discussing them with one another, according to the viral Facebook photos.
In one version, a problem challenges students to analyze a simple economy, where singer Dam Vinh Hung grows bananas, comedian Tran Thanh produces oranges, and Quan Kun, a young man with almost no talent but infamous for ‘finding fame at all cost,’ plants grapefruits.
“Suppose that Quan Kun only loves bananas, Dam Vinh Hung is fond of oranges and Tran Thanh only likes grapefruits, how would they exchange their fruits with one another?” the question reads.
In the second version, the problem is the same, but the scenario involves singer Son Tung M-TP, who grows bananas but loves milk, singer Ho Ngoc Ha, who makes milk but likes grapefruits, and Miss Universe Vietnam 2015 Pham Huong, who plants grapefruits but is keen on bananas.
Many people have criticized the test maker for these problems, which they said were meant to defame and humiliate the public figures.
The teacher has also raised a few eyebrows as the kind of fruits and products he chose can be understood as slang words denoting sensitive body parts.
In Vietnamese, ‘grapefruit’ is a slang word for women’s large breasts and ‘orange’ for smaller boobs, apparently because of their similar shapes, as is ‘banana’ for penis.
With Quan Kun known as an apparent gay man, the statement that he only “loves bananas” grown by Dam Vinh Hung has a dirty implication. So is the statement that says Tran Thanh loves grapefruits.
Similarly, it is not difficult to figure out the meaning behind the statement “Son Tung only likes milk [from Ho Ngoc Ha].”
Manh confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Tuesday that he framed those questions, but only “to create a funny atmosphere” for his students when they did the test.
But the 34-year-old lecturer now feels “quite tired and regretful” for such unusual questions, when people have viewed them in a different way from his original intention.
“It is after all an exam problem merely intended for educational purposes,” he claimed.
“Of course it is easy to put it as Mr. A grows bananas and Mrs B. produces milk, but I randomly used some celeb names just to inspire my students, so that they could do the test at ease.”
Manh asserted that he never wanted to humiliate any one with such questions.
“Speaking of test-making knowledge, there is no problem with my questions,” he said.
Manh hailed his test questions as “trendy and up-to-date,” adding he is “a young and open-minded teacher.”
“I do not know why the tests were leaked online, as they are for internal use only,” he said.
“I feel tired as the press and many people have kept contacting me over the past few days.
“Many people said my questions have filthy implications, but I want to confirm that no pun was intended.”