Making breakthroughs and using quality and efficiency as a measure of educational reform

Saturday, 2020-09-05 10:45:05
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Tenth grade students of the Phan Dinh Phung High School (Hanoi) during the opening ceremony of the 2020-2021 academic year on September 5 morning.
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NDO – Today, educational institutions across the country jubilantly entered the new 2020-2021 academic year. This is the last school year in the implementation of the current five-year plan (2016-2020), creating a premise for the entire education sector to successfully fulfil the 2021-2025 five-year plan and build new achievements to welcome the 13th National Party Congress.

Reviewing the 2019-2020 school year, despite being directly and seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the education sector proactively and promptly took synchronous, drastic and effective measures to realise the dual goal of combating the disease and completing the set programmes and goals, with the motto of “suspend schools but not stop learning”.

The past academic year marked an important milestone in the work of improving institutions and creating a legal corridor for fundamental and comprehensive reform of education and training. The education sector focused resources on improving the quality of preschool education universalisation for five-year-old children, and bringing primary and secondary education universalisation to a higher level. All 63 provinces and cities maintained and reached universal primary education standards, 18 of whom met the standard of universal primary education at level three.

The 2019-2020 school year was also the premise year to prepare for the implementation of the new general education programme in reality as the MOET finalised the evaluation and approval of five first-grade textbooks to be used from the 2020-2021 school year. Conditions concerning teachers, facilities and teaching equipment under the new general education programme were actively implemented. Despite the global outbreak of COVID-19, Vietnamese students still strived to participate in international exams online, and achieved encouraging results. Specifically, Vietnam’s chemistry team ranked second overall at the 52nd International Chemistry Olympiad in Turkey, with all four members striking gold medals – the nation’s best-ever performance in the contest. Additionally, all four Vietnamese students participating in the International Biology Olympiad 2020 (Nagasaki, Japan) won prizes, including one gold, one silver and one bronze medal as well as one consolation prize. The national high school graduation exam was organised on schedule, ensuring the dual goal of fighting the disease and meeting the requirements for a practical and objective exam. Higher education marked a breakthrough in the determination to exercise autonomy and improve training quality. For the first time, three higher education institutions of Vietnam broke into the world’s top 1,000, while seven universities made the list of leading universities in Asia.

With profound attention from the Party and State, the care of the entire people, the unceasing efforts and wholeheartedness of officials and teachers and the enthusiastic learning of students, education quality at all grades and training has significantly improved. However, to meet the needs of socio-economic development, the reality of the past academic year has also posed many challenges, both in the short and long term, for the education sector. Accordingly, the planning of preschool and general education networks in some localities has not been properly implemented yet. The structure of teachers is yet to be synchronised. The compilation of textbooks and documents under the new general education programme has been applied for the first time, thus facing many difficulties from the design stage to the organisation of implementation. The quality of human resources, especially high-quality personnel, has not really satisfied development requirements.

Therefore, the entire education sector needs to launch an emulation movement for innovation and creativity in teaching, making a breakthrough and taking quality and efficiency as a measure of educational reform. Greater efforts should be made to develop Vietnam into a strong country in terms of education and training in the region, catching up with the world’s advanced level and participating in the international human resource training market. The sector must be flexible, proactive and active from the first days of the new school year, while putting optimal focus on the key tasks of officially applying the new general education curriculum and textbooks to the first grade and preparing conditions for implementation over the following school years and grades. Attention should be paid to educating ethics, lifestyle and soft skills for students; accelerating the reform of educational management and administration mechanisms; implementing autonomy for higher education institutions; and completing legal corridors to promote digital transformation and the application of information technology in education and training.

Entering the new 2020-2021 school year, Party committees, authorities, mass organisations, families and society should continue to pay greater attention to and work closely with the education and training sector to create the most favourable conditions for students’ learning and training, to promote care for the cause of personnel development and facilitate a learning society, and to build a prosperous, wealthy and beautiful country. The entire education sector needs to make constant efforts, strengthen emulation on good teaching and learning, and strive to successfully and effectively realise the directions of Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong as set out in his letter sent to the sector on the occasion of the new academic year. Accordingly, the Party and State leader expressed his hope that teachers, managers and educational workers would continue promoting the sector’s fine traditions and retain their political stance, moral qualities, passion for the cause of education, and innovation in teaching, thus making greater contributions to the fundamental and comprehensive reform of the country's education system. He encouraged students to uphold the nation’s learning traditions and nurture their ambition to emulate good learning practices and become the future masters of the country with a sense of both morality and professionalism.

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