Dương Văn Bá. — Photo gdtd.vn
Dương Văn Bá, deputy director of the Department of Political Education and Pupils and Students’ Affairs under the Ministry of Education and Training, talks to the newspaper Thời báo Kinh tế Việt Nam (Việt Nam Economic Times) about the need to adopt new attitudes to support more start-ups in the country.
How do you respond to people’s complaints that many Vietnamese young people don’t have a comprehensive understanding about the concept of start-up?
Basically, I should say that Vietnamese students are well educated and want to excel in their studies. However, choosing their future careers seems to be daunting to many of them. As a result they are often passive in their learning. Thus most of them are very weak in soft skills and practical skills. Some students say that they only want to get their university diplomas.
In the meantime, many others consider their university diplomas as their pass to job-seeking, not as a spring board for them to start their own business or start-up.
In my own opinion the thinking of these students is somewhat irresponsible towards themselves. They should stand on their own feet when they become adults.
So in my opinion, students at secondary schools should be taught about their future career options as part of their school curriculum.
So in what year should we introduce the start up idea to students at general school?
In other countries, the start-up idea has been integrated into the primary school curriculum. Of course, its content must be suitable to the pupils’ knowledge and their age. Of course, for Việt Nam, the idea or concept of a start-up remains rather new to many of them. That’s why in my opinion, it should only be introduced to students at vocational schools, colleges or universities. However, in the near future, we’ll come up with a road map to introduce the concept of the start-up at general schools. We think that if we want to encourage the pupils to have good motivation in their studies and their long-term occupational orientation, we should start to instill in them the idea when they are in primary school.
What should we do to help college and university students who want to have their own start-ups?
Colleges and universities have played a very important role in helping their students to run their own start-ups. The Prime Minister has signed the Project 1665 to support students’ start-ups from now until the year 2025.
The Project 2025 has listed five main solutions to support students to launch their start-ups when they are still in college or at university. They are as follows:
First, launch a mass communication campaign at colleges and universities to help students and teachers understand the idea of start-ups.
Second, introduce the concept of start-up in the university/college main curricula.
If any students have good ideas for start-ups, they are invited to join the Proposal 844 on “Supporting the Start-up Ecology” which is sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology. This project will last until 2025.
Third, the Ministry of Education and Training will soon develop a web site on start-ups for students who are interested in the topic to visit, participate or develop their ideas about start-ups.
Fourth, the website is a place for any students who are interested in having their own start-up to seek funding support.
And finally, the Ministry of Education and Training and other ministries and sectors have plans to support new start-ups nation wide, including students’ start-ups.
By now only 15 universities and colleges nation-wide have introduced the idea of start-ups in their training programmes. This number is very modest. So what should we do to have more universities and colleges offer start-ups as a subject in their training programmes?
To my understanding the number of universities and colleges having integrated the idea of start up in their training programs is more than 15. But according to the plan No.1230 of the Ministry of Education and Training, all universities and colleges must include the subject of start-ups in their curricula.— VNS