Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Roughly 22.5 million students, in cities and provinces all around Việt Nam, celebrated the start of the school year yesterday, returning as the country continues its struggle to reform the education system and boost economic growth.
About 20.5 million are pupils in preschool, primary, secondary and high schools, while the remaining million-plus are students in universities and colleges.
The Party and State leaders also participated in school opening ceremonies held nationwide, which included saluting the national flag, singing the national anthem and reading the letter from the President.
President Trần Đại Quang extended his best wishes to teachers and students nationwide at a ceremony at Hà Nội-Amsterdam High School for gifted students in the capital city.
He emphasised the educational sector’s accomplishments in the last academic year, such as an extended educational network, improved education quality, accelerated teaching method reforms and students’ outstanding results at national and international contests.
The Hà Nội-Amsterdam High School leads Vietnamese performance at national and international competitions; one year, it won 33 international prizes and 79 national awards.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc attended a new school year ceremony at Hà Nội-based Nguyễn Đình Chiểu Secondary School, whose over 1,700-person student body includes over 200 visually impaired students. He hailed the disabled students’ strong wills and the school’s welcoming environment as a place for underprivileged students to study, play and make friends.
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân beat the inaugural drum to kick off the school year at Lê Quý Đôn High School in the southern province of Bà Rịa- Vũng Tàu.
At the ceremony, she called on the province to spend more on upgrading infrastructure, purchasing teaching tools and planting more trees.
She also exhorted every teacher and student to uphold the school’s traditions by pushing for a glistening future.
In HCM City, around 1.5 million students of all grades began the new school year.
The city Party Committee Secretary Đinh La Thăng attended the opening ceremony together with more than 2,400 students at Lương Thế Vinh High School in District 1.
Though the number of students has risen by 59,000 from last year, the city has ensured classrooms for all, according to the municipal Department of Education and Training.
The city spent VNĐ5.2 trillion (US$233 million) to build dozens of new schools, and more than 2,000 new classrooms are available this year. Another VNĐ795 billion ($36 million) was spent on new teaching tools, IT equipment upgrades and laboratories for experiment and research.
While attending a ceremony at Ba Vì Boarding High School in Ba Vì District, Hà Nội, Party Secretary Hoàng Trung Hải emphasised that teachers and students should follow Uncle Hồ’s teaching “Vì lợi ích mười năm trồng cây, vì lợi ích trăm năm trồng người” (For the sake of ten years we must plant trees, for the sake of 100 years, we should cultivate people) in order to overcome difficulties and contribute to the educational cause of the city in general and the district in particular.
Hai expressed his hope that the school will continue its traditions and efforts to meet the new conditions’ demand.
Thousands of students in the northern mountainous province of Lào Cai attended the the opening ceremony of the school year yesterday, a month after it suffered two consecutive storms.
To provide the necessary conditions for teaching and learning in the new school year, Lào Cai authorities have mobilised all its resources and received support from individual and organisational volunteers.
Phìn Ngan Commune in Bát Xát District suffered the greatest losses, with three people dead and more missing. The only suspension bridge that allowed students and Dao ethnic people to cross the Ngòi Đung stream was also swept away.
Lucky for students, education staff and the 18 households of Dao ethnic minority people in Sùng Hoàng Village of Phìn Ngan Commune, a new suspension bridge has been completed in time for the ceremony.
“The new bridge will make travel easier and safer. Villagers will send more students to schools “ Lý Tả Mẩy, a local resident told Viet Nam News Agency correspondents.
The 2016-2017 academic year is the third year the sector has conducted the Government’s action plan on fundamental renovation of the educational system.
According to Phùng Xuân Nhạ, Minister of Education and Training, improving the quality of education, with particular focus on morals, is one of the ministry’s main emphases for the academic year
More information on vocational guidance will be publicised so that colleges and universities can more easily determine the labour market for each sector, Nhạ said.
The national high school examination and the Circular 30, which requires school teachers to give students comments based on performance, will both be revised, he said at a press conference on Sunday.
Regarding the new model of learning and teaching, called the Việt Nam Escuela Nueva (VNEN), Nhạ said that the ministry will review the application and confront recent misunderstandings of the model .
He added that it was not necessary for all localities to apply this model.
The VNEN was designed to make students more engaged in class, with teachers serving as facilitators. It also aimed to make parents and other community members more involved in making learning relevant to children.
Recently, after requests from some students and their teachers, several localities asked the ministry to suspend the application and multiplication of the teaching model. -- VNS