The Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation (VPDF) and Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training (DOET) held a conference in the city on March 29 to discuss educational reforms in Vietnam.
|An English class in Tran Khai Nguyen high school. Some educationists say Vietnam should improve teaching methodologies, others say textbooks must contain selected and relevant knowledge (Photo: B. Uyen)|
The education system in Vietnam still lags behind the country’s socioeconomic growth as compared to other Asian countries. VPDF President, Nguyen Thi Binh, former Education Minister and many educationists participated in the meeting.
Participants debated on the changes that Vietnam must make. Some people claimed that the curriculum and textbooks are too heavy while others blamed the teaching methodology and teachers.
Nguyen Thi Binh, VPDF President and Huynh Cong Minh, DOET director, supported the idea that educationists and policy-makers should pay attention to the purpose of education and improve teaching methodologies and teacher skills.
On the other hand, Dr. Vu Trong Ry from the Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences pointed out that children of today are more grown up than the previous generation but the textbook curriculum has remained the same. Textbooks must contain selected and relevant knowledge to improve the skills of students, as the main purpose of education.
Vietnam has around 30,000 educational institutes nationwide including public and private facilities, schools for gifted students, boarding schools and day-care centers. The traditional teacher-centered classroom teaching is popular in Vietnam and teachers adhere closely to textbook curriculum to prepare students for exams and raise learner skills.
Therefore, Vietnam needs to upgrade its education system to adapt to modern day development.
VPDF representatives told the participants at the meeting that students must study in school all day. Schools must set up a clear agenda to raise student skills. Teachers should play the role of a leader so that students are drawn towards knowledge and assessment of students should target study orientation rather than performance. This should be the direction of education in the next 15 years.
Participants said that the government’s determination in conducting educational reform and a strong budget was necessary to carry out a transformation in the educational system.