Enhancing the education and training renewal in a positive manner

Thursday, 2019-09-05 16:46:43
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Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha
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NDO – On the occasion of the new academic year 2019-2020 that officially opened on September 5, Prof. Dr. Phung Xuan Nha, member of the Party Central Committee (PCC) and Minister of Education and Training (MoET), granted an interview with Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper on breakthrough solutions for the basic and comprehensive education and training renewal.

Q: In an interview in early 2019, you said that the trust from the whole of society is an important resource for the education sector to make positive changes. Could you talk about the basic achievements in the previous academic year, which can create trust and premise for this year?

A: Education is a vast field, involving a lot of people. Therefore, the sector’s development is always followed by the whole society, which creat not only driving forces but also put the pressure on the educational sector to constantly renovate in a positive manner, meeting the expectations of the people.

The school year 2018-2019 was the fifth year that the sector implemented the measures for the basic and comprehensive renovation, in line with the spirit of the 11th PCC’s Resolution No.29/NQ-TW. Accordingly, the important event was the issuance of the national general education programme.

In addition, the past school year also witnessed the sector’s efforts in the legislation as the draft amended Law on Educationand the draft law on amendments and supplements to a number of articles of the Law on Higher Education, which were developed by the MoET, were approved by the National Assembly with high consensus. The Ministry also advised the Government in issuing dozens of decrees as well as developing and supplementing many circulars to remove "bottlenecks" on policies, creating favourable condition for the development of education.

Vietnamese students gained impressive achievements at the regional and international Olympiads, including the absolute score in the practice category at the International Chemistry Olympiad and the female contestant with the highest score at the International Physics Olympiad. The higher education witnessed new advances with the pilot expansion of autonomy for three universities, two universities listed among top 1,000 in the world, and seven others recognised among the leading in Asia.

However, there are many problems in need of being solved thoroughly, including the situation of awards just for show, the lack of schools and classrooms, school safety, the inadequate attention to the education of morality, lifestyle and life skills for students, and violations at several universities. These limitations should be solved in this new academic year.

Q: As you said, the lack of schools and classrooms is one of the problems in need of being remedied urgently. So, what are solutions for the effective planning and arrangement of school network?

A: In the school year 2018-2019, many localities have developed projects involving rearranging the system of schools and classrooms. Thousands of odd schools were merged into the main schools, while small-scale schools were merged together to become larger-scale inter-schools.

The planning and arrangement of schools should be considered carefully and implemented in a reasonable roadmap in order to streamline the apparatus while improving the education quality. In the school year 2019-2020, the MoET will guide and inspect the merging of educational institutions, including continuous training institutions in the localities to ensure compliance with regulations.

Q: Today, the new academic year 2019-2020 officially began. What are your concerns for this year? And, what do you want to say to teachers, managers and students?

A: The year 2019-2020 is the ‘sprinting’ period in preparations of conditions for the implementation of the new general education programme. The educational sector still has a lot of work to do to ensure the quantity and quality of teachers as well as the facilities at schools. This is my concern, but the sector is determined to fulfil its tasks. In addition, the education of morality, lifestyle and life skills for students should be also improved in terms of content and methods of teaching and learning. I know that this is a great challenge that we should overcome, creating a clear change in this school year. I hope that teachers and educational administrators will continue to keep up their enthusiasm for the education; uphold professional ethics; and actively retrained by themselves to adapt to the sector’srenovation requirements. With the participation of the whole society, the cause of education and training renewal will be successful.

I wish students a healthy and safe school year with lots of fun and new achievements in study and practice.

Q: The MoET has completed the construction of the national general education programme. How will be the preparations of conditions be implemented to apply the programme in 2020-2021 academic year, starting from the first graders.

A: The sector identifies that teachers and educational administrators play a very important role in the implementation of the new general education programme. Therefore, in recent times and this year, the standardisation of the staff has been thefocuse. Accordingly, teachers have been cultivated according to professional standards at four groups: high schools, pedagogical universities, principals of high schools and educational managers at the grassroots level. So far, over 1,400 pedagogical teachers and key educational management lecturers have been retrained. It is expected that all first grade teachers and principals of elementary schools will improve their ability under the newly-issued standards.

In addition, the preparations of facilities and equipment for teaching that can meet the requirements of the new general educational programme have been enhanced actively. In term of textbooks, the Ministry has issued the regulations and formed a national council for evaluation of textbooks. The council has worked seriously, responsibly and objectively to select the quality books and submitted them to the Minister for the approval. The results of the evaluation are expected to be announced in early October.

Q: After the previous school year, there are still inefficientuniversities. So, what is the solution to handle this situation soon?

A: In a certain period, the increase in the number of universitiesaimed to meet the requirements of human resource development. However, the consequence of the rapid growth was the weak and low-quality universities and violations. Therefore, in the past years, the MoET has ordered radical and basic studies from several scientists as well as evaluated the situation and referredto international experience to develop the planning and rearrange the system of universities in a streamlined and effective manner. On that basis, the MoET submitted three projects to the Prime Minister, including a project on reorganisation of the pedagogical universities and establishment of key pedagogical schools universities, another on merging or dissolution of higher education institutions, and one for the review and rearrangement of public non-business units under the Ministry, to the Prime Minister.

Q: Lifelong learning and building a learning society have become the trends in many countries and also mentioned in the PCC’s resolutions as well as the guidelines of the Government and the educational sector. In your opinions, what should we do to promote the lifelong learning and building of a learning society in an effective manner in the school year 2019-2020?

A: The academic year 2018-2019 was the seventh year that the project of building a learning society for 2012-2020 has been implemented, under the Prime Minister’s Decision No.89/QD-TTg issued on January 9, 2013. In the last school year, 26,694 people were mobilised to join courses of eradicating illiteracy; and 244,546 students enrolled in the continuing educational programme at the secondary and high schools. There were 10,917 community learning centres around the country.

Therefore, during this new school year, the sector will continue to promote the operation of continuing educational institutions, give priority to consolidating the system of community learning centres and vocational education centres and continuing training centres after merging. In addition, the correction of foreign language, informatics and distance training centres that failed to comply with the rules.

Q: Today, the new academic year 2019-2020 officially began. What are your concerns for this year? And, what do you want to say to teachers, managers and students?

A: The year 2019-2020 is the ‘sprinting’ period in preparations of conditions for the implementation of the new general education programme. The educational sector still has a lot of work to do to ensure the quantity and quality of teachers as well as the facilities at schools. This is my concern, but the sector is determined to fulfil its tasks. In addition, the education of morality, lifestyle and life skills for students should be also improved in terms of content and methods of teaching and learning. I know that this is a great challenge that we should overcome, creating a clear change in this school year. I hope that teachers and educational administrators will continue to keep up their enthusiasm for the education; uphold professional ethics; and actively retrained by themselves to adapt to the sector’srenovation requirements. With the participation of the whole society, the cause of education and training renewal will be successful.

I wish students a healthy and safe school year with lots of fun and new achievements in study and practice.