Minister of Education and Training Phùng Xuân Nhạ spoke with the Nhân Dân (People) weekly about private tutoring and education reform plans.
There have been controversies recently about children attending many private tutoring classes. Do you think such extra classes should be banned?
First of all, such extra studies are happening in many countries. The ministry has just banned too many extra classes in schools or using the knowledge obtained in extra classes for examinations.
For a long time, Vietnamese parents were pursuing top marks for their children and they sent them to private tutoring classes. It became rampant, and it is simply the issue of matching supply and demand. The tutoring also provided teachers with a much higher income than their official salary. So, teachers still found ways to organise such classes, despite their being banned.
This issue should be considered carefully. I oppose the misuse of extra classes which would affect teachers’ dignity and become a concern for students and parents.
The ministry punishes teachers and schools that misuse extra classes.
Do you think this isssue is a consequence of a faulty school system? How can this problem be solved?
The current curriculum was outdated. The ministry has set up a roadmap for renewing curriculums and text books. Management agencies should further enhance supervision to control the organisation of extra classes in schools. The State should have a proper policy to ensure teachers stable incomes. But this is a long-term target.
When our education system is renewed and catches up with international trends, and when proper policies for teachers are implemented, I believe this extra tutoring will vanish.
Tell us more about the roadmap for renewing curriculums and testbooks, please?
The ministry has reviewed and set up plans for high school final exams and university entrance exams for the 2017 school year. Renewal of curriculum and textbooks, and projects regarding teaching foreign languages on all levels, have been carried out in order to create an advanced education system. Education reform is a long-term process and this will all be adjusted as it is implemented.
Social trust and support is important motivation for the education sector to pursue this target. — VNS