New Minister Searches for Educational Reforms from Neighbors

New Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thien Nhan
New Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thien Nhan finished a visit to Malaysia and Singapore a few days ago, wanting to improve the domestic education system with experiences gained from the educational systems of the two neighboring countries.

At the meeting with the Malaysian MoET, he asked lots of questions about the smooth running of the country’s schooling system. The two sides’ educators have exchanged a dozen solutions on how to push up the development of teaching activities in the nations.

Mr. Nhan was frank to show his great concerns about Viet Nam’s education to his peers, focusing on how to strengthen the links between academia and industry, how the schools get sponsorships from the business, and how to help students get loans for their university education. Each of the problems was discussed in turn based on the conditions of each nation.

Malaysia currently has both public and private educational institutions, all of which are operating are well. It was the point that Mr. Nhan did have a notice during his trip. He also made a stop at Taylors College Malaysia, a private institution that plans to join with a Vietnamese partner to offer tourism-training programs in Viet Nam, saying that Viet Nam was more than happy to jointly provide all training cooperation programs for students of the two nations and the region alike.

The Vietnamese Minister spent half of the trip to visit Singapore, where thousands of Vietnamese students are getting their higher education. He had a chance to share his anxiety over the examinations in his country, which poses high pressure on schoolchildren every year. Leaders of the two educational ministries shared their views on how to reduce the exam burden but still maintain the power of teachers and enhance the quality of teaching and learning.

The Minister was also invited to tour the National Institute of Education (NIE), an institute of the Nanyang Technological University, which has offered many scholarships to Vietnamese students in the past time.

At the question of how to replace the passive learning methods with an active one, the NIE’s Rector affirmed that there must be firstly reforms from the pedagogy institutions, where the renovations in learning begin, and then expansion to high schools and other training centers. However, heads of the education sector and all principals will be decision makers on how to run the teaching system.

The Singaporean Rector’s suggestion that, Viet Nam’s school leaders must go abroad to see and learn from international educative process, seemed to be the most persuasive. The Vietnamese Minister called for the assistance of the NIT staff to provide some training courses for Viet Nam's educational leaders to exchange information and gain experience in Singapore.

He confirmed that in every nation, the strategy was issued by just a few people but it would be commented by many people and developed by the whole population. “That was the only way to reach to a fast-growing and stable society.”

Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhan, former Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, has just been appointed head of the MoET for a few weeks. Every thing is still waiting ahead; the Vietnamese people hope that he could change the domestic educational system, which was heavily criticized for many long-standing wrongdoings over the past time.

Source: TT - Translated by Van Hanh

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