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Vocational schools urged to update curricula as part of nat'l strategy

Update: December, 10/2015 - 00:00
In the 2016-20 period, Viet Nam's vocational training strategy will focus on developing 120 vocations that meet ASEAN and international standards. — VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — Viet Nam's vocational training strategy for the 2011-20 period has achieved positive results, but improvements at schools will be necessary to maintain enrollment, experts have said.

Speaking at a seminar held on December 9 in HCM City, Huynh Van Tiù, deputy minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the quality of vocational training had improved but there were still important issues that needed to be resolved.

The number of students enrolled from 2010 to 2015 totalled 9 million, an increase of 18 per cent against the 2006-10 period, according to the ministry's Vocational Training Department.

During this period, more than 2.4 million people in rural areas attended vocational courses of three months or less.

Deputy minister Tiù told participants at the seminar to review policies and focus on comprehensive solutions for vocational training development.

Participants pointed out weaknesses in curricula, facilities and equipment, and other issues.

Some of the strategy targets have not been met, they said. These include the number and quality of teachers and managerial staff and poor career consultation after junior high school graduation for potential enrollees.

They said that targets had not been reached because of the slow process of implementing the strategy at vocational training colleges, intermediate vocational schools and vocational training centres.

In addition, the distribution of vocational training schools has not been done well, and investment capital from national target programmes for vocational schools has only met 62 per cent of the targets.

Targets for 2020

In the 2016-20 period, the strategy will focus on developing 120 vocations that meet ASEAN and international standards.

The strategy also aims to increase the rate of skilled labourers to 63 per cent by 2020 compared to 38.5 per cent this year.

The total cost for the strategy during this period will be more than VND15 trillion (US$680 million).

To meet the targets, the strategy includes several measures, including reforming State management, reviewing the network of vocational schools, and allowing vocational colleges to cooperate with universities in training on a pilot basis.

Duong Duc Lan, head of the Ministry's Vocational Training Department, said the department would review the network of vocational schools.

Vocational schools having difficulty recruiting students because of poor facilities and lack of capital will be closed or merged with other schools.

Under the vocational education law, which has been effective since July, vocational schools must improve and update training programmes.

"If vocational schools do not reform with an aim of attracting more students, they will be closed," he said.

The country has 190 vocational colleges, 280 intermediate vocational schools and 997 vocational training centres, according to the Vocational Training Department.

Fifty-nine of the country's 63 cities and provinces have vocational colleges. — VNS

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