Reforming education and textbooks is one of the Ministry of Education and Training's top priorities for 2015, Education Minister Pham Vu Luan told the newspaper Tuoi Tre (Youth).
At the 2014 year-end session, the National Assembly adopted a resolution on education and textbook reform. What is the Ministry of Education and Training's plan to bring that resolution to life in 2015?
One top priority for the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) this year is to develop a "legal corridor" for writing new textbooks. The "corridor" will enable us to establish a textbook compiling board, an appraisal board and criteria to evaluate textbook quality. But another very important activity we need to finish this year is selecting individuals or teams to write the textbooks.
Can you tell us more about the work that needs to be done for the education and textbook reforms?
We need to encourage experts from all teacher-training schools nationwide to participate, particularly those from the seven major teacher-training schools. I hope the co-operation between teachers from these training institutions will help us develop new school curriculum, as well as ideas and knowledge on how best to train future teachers. The practical knowledge and skills teachers working at teacher-training institutions and schools have will be essential for compiling high-quality textbooks.
Of course, considering the lessons we've learned in the past, we'll try to hire the most qualified people possible to be the Editor-in-Chief and General Editor-in-Chief. As people in these positions need to have a thorough and systematic look at textbooks ranging from grade 1 to grade 12 in all subjects.
A very important consideration in textbook reform is what would happen if textbook co mpilers came from organisations outside the MOET. Are you sure there will be no discrimination between books written by people from the MOET and the outsiders?
Here I just want to reiterate that there will be no discrimination between books written by MOET staff and non-MOET staff. As I have mentioned above, with textbooks compiled by MOET staff, we'll come up with specific requirements and criteria for teachers involved in writing the textbooks, as well as the compiling procedures and the staff's responsibility for the final product.
For organisations or individuals who are non-MOET staff, we don't interfere during the compiling process. However, we'll give them technical support if they need it. For example, we will provide them the materials necessary to accomplish their work or invite them to training workshops.
In addition to writing new textbooks, what are some other activities the MOET will focus on in 2015?
We have many activities planned for this year, but I'll just mention four main ones here.
First, we'll continue to reform schools' learning, teaching and testing programmes. These activities are considered important pre-requisites for introducing new curriculum and textbooks.
Secondly, we'll call on all education and training institutions to learn from the Viet Nam Escuela Nueva (VNEN) projects to make education more equal.
Thirdly, we'll overhaul preparations for senior secondary school graduation exams, and college and university entrance exams.
And finally, we'll focus on improving the quality of our tertiary education to respond to the nation's requirements for socio-economic development and regional development. — VNS