Ministry passes buck onto universities

Universities and colleges complain that the ‘Must-knows for college and university entrance exams in 2009’ guide to candidates to choose the appropriate school, published by the Ministry of Education and Training, contains large amounts of inaccurate information. The Ministry blames universities for the mistakes.

The 'Must-knows for college and university entrance exams' is a needed book for the candidates to choose the appropriate school. (Photo: SGGP)

Much of the information was reportedly inaccurate last year’s edition but cropped up again in 2009.

The specialty of Financial Management of the Nong Lam University (formerly the Ho Chi Minh City University of Agriculture and Forestry) and the School of Forestry of the university’s branch in Gia Lai Province were again absent from the book.

Associate Professor, Dr. Huynh Thanh Hung, vice principal of the university, said that it has sent a letter to the Ministry straight after the university discovered information was missing but have yet to receive any reply.

“If the information isn’t corrected quickly, the university, as well as the candidates, will suffer,” he said.

The School of English Language Teacher Training at An Giang University (formerly the An Giang Teacher Training College) was also absent in the book this year.

The university discussed the issue with the Higher Education Department (HED), under the Ministry of Education and Training, and has been accepted to enroll 80 students as usual.

Fortunately, this school only receives students from the province so it publicize itself local high schools, Dr. Vo Van Thang, vice principal of the university, said.

Because of the Ministry’s mistake, the College of Finance and Customs will have to select students on the basis of the same pass mark for all schools instead of each pass mark selected by individual school though the university has reported the ministry the change in its selection policies.

The Ministry also neglected to update the address of the office that receives applications, which has moved to 33C Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1.

The deputy manager of HED, Ngo Kim Khoi told SGGP that the guide was written based on the information that the universities and colleges had provided about their addresses, their codes, their schools’ codes, their quotas, and other information.

“The Ministry ordered the universities and colleges to officially confirm their schools,” he said, “the schools that weren’t confirmed wouldn’t be presented in the book.”

“The book was totally based on authentic information provided by the universities and colleges so they take responsibility for missing or inaccurate information in the book, not the Ministry,” he concluded.

The arguments by the deputy manager, however, are still not convincing.

Associate Professor, Dr. Huynh Thanh Hung, vice principal of Nong Lam University, said that the Ministry did not publish the Gia Lai branch’s school of forestry because the university failed to provide confirmation while the same school in Ho Chi Minh City also did not produce official confirmation but was still presented in the book.

“The Nong Lam University was opened to train personnel for agriculture and forestry industries so it obviously already has the right to receive students,” he added.

The An Giang University shares similar concerns; its School of English Language Teacher Training is the main school of the university.

“In 2008, the Nong Lam University asked the Ministry to allow them to open a school of finance. Although the Ministry hadn’t issued a decision to allow this school but it was presented in the ‘must-know’ book in 2008 that had brought the university into a difficult situation,” Dr. Hung recounted.

“To solve this problem, the Ministry allowed them to open the specialty of financial management, which belongs to the School of Business Administration, for the students who registered to the school of finance,” he continued.

“The university registered this specialty with the Ministry this year but it wasn’t mentioned,” he complained.

Universities and colleges were not the only ones who suffered from omissions; candidates were also seriously affected by inaccurate information.

The public has been left wondering about the Ministry’s professionalism after trying to blame universities for its mistakes.

By Tieu Ha, Dinh Lan – Translated by Thuy Doan

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