What Measures are Needed for Educational Reform

In the Tenth Party Congress, an issue of much concern is the improvement of education quality. Some opinions of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC )representatives have been recorded by SGGP reporters.

Nguyen Thanh Tai, Vice Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee.

Nguyen Thanh Tai, Vice Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee

More investment in the teaching staff

The topic of education always leads to the discussion on educational quality and comprehensive education. In my opinion, in the past five years, we have had great achievements in education. The increase of the educational budget and the policy on the participation of the non-private sectors into education are some examples, thanks to which Ho Chi Minh City has had thousands of new classrooms and billions of VND to invest in infrastructure every year. The remote and distant regions have had beautifully-built schools. The fact demonstrates that people in schooling ages have more conditions for their schooling, more options for their education al models and their schools both domestically and overseas. What are specific solutions for an “educational improvement”? I think one of the important issues is the investment on the teaching staff, especially those working in the remote and distant areas. Without them, the reformed contents could not be delivered to the learners and the society.

Huynh Cong Minh, Director of HCMC Department of Education and Training.

Huynh Cong Minh, Director of HCMC Department of Education and Training

Educational goals re-established

The Report of the tenth-tenure Central Committee sets the goals of education for the next five years is the comprehensive reform of education and training. This goal is a call for all of the people. However, the question is what reforms are needed to make a breakthrough in educational quality. The answer is, in my opinion, to define the goals of education more specifically. Without a clearly established goal of education, from which the contents, methods and assessment could be changed towards an educational reform, the issue of educational quality could confuse us in this Congress and even in many coming Congresses.

We have set the educational goals of comprehensive education, with a passive viewpoint of building an all-round person having knowledge, virtues, health and aestheticism. The world now is looking at the goal of education in an “active” trend, which leads to the organization of education to train students in four major fields: learn to know, learn to do, learn to be and learn to live with each other. With this goal setting, the educational reforms will manifest specifically in the educational content, methods and organization in schools. In addition, we can recognize what our educational quality is like, from which there will be more discussion on the measures to overcome the weaknesses. In fact, despite all our efforts and devotion, with our current educational goal setting, we can only ensure the supply of information, which means that students are provided with necessary information. Meanwhile, the reform dictates that we have to make students fully understand the issue in order to guarantee the six levels of knowledge: understand, know, apply, analyze, synthesize and assess. Also, students should have practice while studying.

The ‘active” goal requires al change in the school organization. To ensure the said quality, the number of students in class must be reduced to 20 – 30, which facilitates more communications between teachers and students and better care for students instead of only knowledge supply. Another issue is that students need to be trained in team working, helping them learn about partnership in life and work. They should also learn to think independently so that they can become active and creative people, meeting the social demands. Without the educational goal of “learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, and learning to live with each other”, we will forever fumble around with the need to have schools for children and the teaching method of providing information passively.

Phan Thanh Binh, Vice Director of Vietnam National University, HCMC.

Phan Thanh Binh, Vice Director of Vietnam National University, HCMC

Hundreds of years for a good education

Working in the educational field, I was a little bit sad reading the Congress’ Report. Chapter 8 said that the quality of education and training is still low. But chapter 2, page 26, states a need for educational amelioration. They are, in fact, issues difficult to be evaluated. The contributions of education in the past years should be recognized. The Report says things too briefly. Even the even the phrase “educational amelioration” is not correct. It is correct that our education does not meet with the demand of the country’s development in the integration time. But our education is not too spoilt to need amelioration. I mean that no country is satisfied with its education. The US criticizes its education and completely condemns that of Europe. What is the viewpoint to look at our education? The Vietnamese education feels that all its efforts and contributions are denied. I think, in education, we should have a thorough look and we need time to stabilize and develop. Ten years ago, we talked about education reform, then about two national universities and then some major universities and now internationally-standardized universities. The problem is not the choice of words, but the policies, mechanism and good investment.

However, we have not been stable enough to focus our investment on a specific issue. It is natural that education is always slow and stagnant, which means that it takes hundreds of years to build a good education. As this is recognized by the Party, impatience and generalities should be avoided.

By Thao Quan - Luu Tuan, Translated by Le Thao

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