|Students take part in a clothes-making class during vocational training in Binh Dinh Province. Vocational centres have shown little interest in carrying out quality assessments to improve training for labourers.—VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan
HA NOI (VNS) — Vocational centres have shown little interest in carrying out quality assessments to improve training for labourers, director of the Department of Vocational Training Quality Assessment, Pham Vu Quoc Binh has said.
Reports from the General Directorate of Vocational Training this month revealed that in the seven years since the ministry's training quality assessment programme was introduced, only 183 out of about 1,410 vocational schools had volunteered to join.
In 2008, the ministry managed to establish a set of standards for training quality assessment, which included 50 criteria and 150 index requirements for vocational schools. The ministry encouraged vocational schools to accept assessment as a way of discovering their shortcomings - and setting up plans and strategies to improve quality.
Only 15 schools joined the programme in the first year. In 2009, more 20 schools volunteered to join and the number increased to 30 the following year.
Binh said the main reason many schools ignored the programme was a shortage of supportive policies.
"There are no regulations to force vocational schools to get training quality assessment, no policies to support standard schools or sanctions to substandard schools," he said.
According to Binh, schools that met the set of standards should be given special treatment, such as getting a Labour Medal (the name of an award, which recognises the good achivements of an association) from State-owned companies, ministries and sectors or getting funds from the State to help poor students study.
The low awareness of leaders of vocational schools and a shortage of skilled inspectors also contributed to the problem, he added.
Leaders of some schools misunderstand the purpose of the assessment. After experiencing one, a school would get better plans for development.
In many countries, assessments were compulsory and are required by students who paid for study fees and wanted to know hows schools ranked, he said.
Binh also said the programme mobilised teachers as inspectors to implement their school's assessment. Currently, the General Directorate of Vocational Training is facing a shortage of 1,200 inspectors to carry out the programme.
However, many inspectors lacked skills, such as teamwork, situation solving, co-operation with partners and report writing. This also required training, he said.
Truong Thuc Hieu, rector of Da Lat Vocational College, said after six years of implementing training quality assessment, the school had not been given any supportive policies although it was ranked as standard schools (a ‘standard' school meets criteria such as good teachers, good education quality, good school management, good infrastructure).
Hieu also said that some requirements in the set of standards were not practical. For example, the requirement for certain numbers of seats in a library, dormitory or workshop was unnecessary, he said.
According to Hoa, the ministry set up a development strategy for vocational training from 2011-20 under which 70 per cent of vocational schools nation-wide access training quality assessment and 90 per cent must be standard.
To achieve the target, the ministry plans to build three centres of quality assessment in the north, central region and the south by 2020.
Hoa said it was necessary to raise awareness of leaders of vocational schools to join the assessment. — VNS