Chairwoman of the Vocational Training and Social Activities Association Nguyen Thi Hang spoke with Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) about amendments to the law.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said only some points should be added to the law to create a strong legal channel to develop vocational training. Why do you think the law needed to be amended?
The Party and Government has identified human resources as one of three mainstays to turn the country's industrialisation target into reality. Along with human resource development strategy, the Prime Minister has approved the vocational training development strategy.
Student enrolment for vocational training units have faced difficulties despite guidelines and policies being on the right track. Last year, enrolment in vocational training units met 86 per cent of the year's target.
The Government should have made adjustments in line with demand and the human resource master plan to correct imbalances in the labour market. Enterprises could not recruit skilled and highly professional workers while university graduates remain unemployed.
The whole vocational training law should be revised, instead of some articles of the law in order to speed up high skilled human resource training to meet demands for skills. This would serve the country's industrialisation and modernisation performance and achieve the vocational training development strategy towards 2020.
Does the programme the country has been implementing meet demand?
It is right that we have oriented training following society's demands. However, we are training in line with learner demands and most of learners wanted to study at university. Most education units fell short because of shortcomings caused by a lack of infrastructure, teachers and students. Some vocation training schools also wanted to upgrade to become universities.
It would cause waste to and negatively affect the country's economy if education management follows a ‘virtual market' instead of prioritising realistic areas of study. For me, the current vocational training law has been existing many shortcomings that is needed to be handled soon.
What are the shortcomings and how can these be handled?
There are four problems that need to be addressed in the vocational training law.
First, the law should revise efforts to create an awareness of vocational training. Secondly, a draft regulation is needed on job orientation for students.
Thirdly, the revised law should handle current shortcomings in vocational training management. Universities are also teaching college and vocational level students. Some universities have even brought students from colleges for training. Some colleges also teach university-level students.
For me, universities should teach only university, post-graduate and research students while vocational students should be trained at vocational education colleges. We need to regulate the responsibilities of these organisations who contribute to vocational training.
Finally, we needed to create policies to attract students. Students must be able to visualise their future: the wages, responsibilities and career progression.
How will students be guided to choose a vocation?
In developed countries, students are guided towards vocations at the secondary school level. In European countries, 30-35 per cent of secondary students continue study at high school and university while between 65-70 per cent go through vocational training.
In Indonesia, only 30 per cent of secondary students continue study at high schools and the remaining go to vocational training.
In Viet Nam, students have been guided into vocations mainly through communication and mobilisation campaigns. The mass establishment and open enrolment of universities in Viet Nam has created a trend of the majority of students aiming for university.
It would be difficult to achieve targets if the Government does not change policies on vocational orientation for primary and secondary students in the revised the vocational training law. — VNS