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On the eve of the annual OECD report on pupil progress Vietnam has published the decisions of the Communist Party’s central committee and government concerning changes to the education system.

An extract appears below. The full document is at

http://www.solidnet.org/vietnam-communist-party-of-vietnam/cp-of-vietnam-statement-of-the-8th-plenum-en

 The Party Central Committee decided to issue a resolution on radical and comprehensive reforms of education and training, meeting the requirements of industrialization and modernization under the conditions of the socialist-oriented market economy and international integration.

The Party Central Committee holds that despite numerous domestic difficulties and limited resources, the Vietnamese traditional fondness for learning, the care of the Party, State and the whole society, and the efforts of the teachers and managers has enabled Vietnamese education and training to record major achievements, contributing to national renovation, construction and defense. These include the implementation of universal education, improvement of people’s knowledge, human resources development, nurtured talents, education of citizens’ awareness, political virtues, and revolutionary ideals for generations of Vietnamese, sustained socialist orientation, better conditions for educational quality, improved quality and effectiveness of education at all levels, improved training levels, expanded international integration, and a growing number of trained workers.

However, education and training remains far from meeting the demands of national construction and defense and the requirements for growth model reform, economic restructuring and sustainable development. Education has not yet been a truly primary national policy and given high priority in socio-economic development programs. Education has not yet been considered a dicisive factor for national development. Shortcomings and weaknesses of education and training which were raised by the Resolution of the 2nd plenum of the 8th Party Central Committee have seen slow amelioration and even some deterioration. Educational science is obsolete. The quality of education is failing to meet socio-economic development needs or to create a strong competitive edge for Vietnam’s workforce regionally and globally. Education does not yet contribute to preserving and promoting national cultural values. Education management reveals weaknesses. The budget for education is limited. There is insufficient forecasting of human resource needs for national industrialization and modernization and of people’s learning needs for proper educational development planning.

The Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee thoroughly analyzed the causes, particularly subjective causes behind shortcomings and weakness; experience gained from education reforms; the background, advantages, disadvantages and challenges; and requirements for the education sector during the new revolutionary period. The Party Central Committee stresses the need to radically and comprehensively reform education and training. The Party Central Committee defines radical and comprehensive reform of education and training as reform of the core and urgent issues ranging from thinking and perspectives to goals, systems, and programs of education, policies, mechanisms, and conditions to ensure educational quality. Reform should be implemented at all grades and levels of training, at central and local levels, and in the relationship between families, schools, and society. Reform should aim to develop learners’ capacity, train human resources, and nurture talents, while shifting from providing knowledge to comprehensively developing learners’ capacity and qualities. Reform aims to create a drastic change in education quality and effectiveness, satisfying the needs of national construction and defense as well as the people’s needs for study. Reform needs be systematic, with a long-term vision and uniform, feasible, scientific measures. Radical and comprehensive reform needs to consolidate and promote achievements and role models, while resolutely dealing with wrongdoing and infractions. Prolonged weaknesses should be addressed and new, positive factors should be developed. Reform should have a focus and a roadmap appropriate to the actual conditions of the country and localities. Limitations and challenges of education should be kept in mind and overcome through effective measures and roadmaps, thus elevating the education sector to a new height.

Based on the overall and concrete goals, the Party Central Committee defines several tasks and solutions for radical and comprehensive reform of education: Strengthen the Party’s leadership and the State’s management in educational reform. Continue drastic and uniform renovation of fundamental elements of the educational program in line with developing the quality and competence of learners. Radically renovate the forms and methods of tests, exams, and evaluation of educational quality. Guarantee integrity, objectivity, and accuracy, meeting the demands for developing each student’s capacity and quality. The national educational system should be refined towards an open educational system, life learning, and building a learning society. Educational management should be radically reformed, ensuring democracy, unity, and strengthened self-determination and social responsibilities of educational institutions, while quality management is championed.  Good management is a fundamental premise for good teaching and learning. An army of teachers and educational managers should be developed to meet the requirements for the reform of education and training. Financial policies and mechanisms should be renovated, while facilities are developed and social contributions are encouraged. Investment effectiveness for educational development should be enhanced. It is necessary to improve the quality and effectiveness of scientific and technological studies, particularly education and management sciences. International integration and cooperation in education and training should be proactively carried out.

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