Education reform fits needs of society

Saturday, 2015-09-05 11:43:16
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Pupils at the opening ceremony for the new school year at Tran Dai Nghia Secondary School in Ho Chi Minh City
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NDO – The 2015-2016 school year marks the third year the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has implemented its policy of fundamental and comprehensive reform. On the occasion, Nhan Dan Newspaper had an interview with MOET Deputy Minister Nguyen Vinh Hien to talk about issues facing the education sector in the new school year.

Q: Can you please tell us about the major targets the MOET has set for the new school year?

A: During the new school year, the MOET will focus operations on fostering universal pre-school education for 5-year-old children as well as universal primary and secondary education, providing career advice for high school students and eradicating illiteracy based on the demands of learners and current situation of the localities.

While realising the targets, schools have been asked to renovate their teaching methods as well as forms of testing and assessments of students’ performance in a bid to develop the culture and capacity of the learners. They have been also requested to complete the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Notably, the MOET will step up the implementation of the Prime Minister-approved national project to reform textbooks and curriculum for schools, and work out solutions to overhaul education quality through organising creative activities, encouraging science and technology research for students as well as helping them apply their knowledge and skills in solving problems.

Q: The project to renew school textbooks has attracted much attention from the whole community. What has the MOET done to develop the project?

A: In addition to designing the new content of school text books, the MOET has also applied initial changes in the current school text books in order to draw experiences for the new one.

The popularization of new school text books will be taken step by step in a positive and active way in line with characteristics of each school and locality in order to promote their advantages while remedying their shortcomings.

Q: Recently, the MOET announced the draft general education programme. Can you please brief us about the major contents of the programme?

A: The major task of the general education programme is to set up and lay a foundation for renewing school textbooks and overhauling the educational management system.

As the programme targets to develop the capacity of students and explore the best of their potential, teachers are required to be active and creative in realising the content of the programme. Therefore, in the 2015-2016 school year, the MOET will work closely with localities to improve the quality of teachers and educational managers. Teachers are also asked to learn from their colleagues to compliment their teaching experience.

Q: Facing drastic innovation, parents may worry that their children are being treated as guinea pigs in an experiment. In your opinion, what can ease parents' anxieties?

A: All educational reforms have been considered carefully in the spirit of Resolution 29 dated November 2013 on fundamental and comprehensive innovation in education. While conducting reforms, the Ministry of Education and Training is anticipating possible difficulties to remedy which are based on scientific research and experience from foreign countries.

The ministry will closely monitor the process to make timely adjustments and overcome bottlenecks. Experimenting in education is not to conclude that it is right or wrong, but intends to bring about the best and most effective results and minimise flaws.

Education staff must explain and appeal to parents so that they can trust and support the implementation of reforms.

Q: Mobilising all resources to contribute to the education sector is an issue of great concern as there is a fragile boundary between over-collection and the mobilisation of resources to education. What solutions should be adopted to ensure the mobilisation of resources to education while preventing over-collection?

A: It is necessary to mobilise all resources from society to contribute to education to ensure that all children, regardless of their living situation, can go to school. Due to limited sources from the State, it is necessary to mobilise resources from society to contribute to the education sector including financial resources.

However, sources raised from the people must be used effectively and economically. In many cases, leaders of educational establishments have imposed unreasonable fees on parents or used mobilised funds for the wrong purposes, leading to reactions from the people.

Thus, it is advisable to strengthen the responsibility of management agencies at all levels and the supervision of authorised agencies to ensure the transparency of financial resources. It is also necessary to invite sponsors to participate in the collection and spending of financial resources to make them feel secure.

Thank you very much!