Thursday, August 13 2020


Textbook changes to shake up schools

Update: February, 12/2020 - 08:51



Teachers in Hải Phòng City read a brief introduction to the new sets of first grade textbooks.VNA/VNS Photo Minh Thu


Provincial Departments of Education and Training will soon decide what set of textbooks are used for first graders in their province. Deputy head of the Secondary Education Department of the Ministry of Education and Training Nguyễn Xuân Thành updates Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper on the issue


Can you explain the Ministry of Education and Training’s move to grant the right to all city/province Departments of Education and Training to decide which set of textbooks first graders in their area will use?

Based on the guidelines from the Ministry of Education and Training, all city/province Departments of Education and Training (DOET) can make their own decision on which set of textbooks to use for the first grade pupils. Of course, before making their decision the provincial DOET has to analyse carefully their provincial socio-economic development and its natural conditions, geography, history, culture and other factors. If this step is done properly it will be of great help to make the right choice of textbooks to use. Besides, each local DOET should also come up with specific instructions on the basic material foundations or essential teaching equipment the school should have.

This circular will come into effect from March 15.

Would the school headmaster have the right to select which set of textbooks is used in their school?

Under the ministry's guidelines, each school should set up a special group to evaluate which set of textbooks to use. This means the selection of the school books is done in accordance to the subject or to each school’s educational activity.

Will this way of selecting textbooks be a challenge for authorities, particularly in their monitoring and evaluation activities?

Before the start of the new school year in 2019-2020, the ministry issued a guideline saying that all school textbooks must meet requirements set for the new teaching and learning curriculum developed by the ministry.

The document has stated clearly that any textbooks used in the schools must meet the ministry's requirements which were laid down in the new educational programme. That’s why it is up to school principles to decide which textbooks are used in their schools.

Can you please talk about how comments from the teachers, pupils and parents are taken into consideration?

The circular states clearly that members in each evaluation group must have representatives from the parent’s association and the teachers. However, there is a requirement that the textbook is only approved if it wins the approval of at least two-thirds of voters at the meeting.

Can you talk about the supply of textbooks to all schools nationwide?

In its circular, the ministry has already stated clearly that each provincial Department of Education and Training must act as a focal point on gathering the demand of what types of textbooks the province needs and then send their reports to the ministry, the Provincial People’s Committee and publishing houses at least four months before the start of the new school year in early September. Regarding the timeline, the ministry’s circular states clearly that by April 30, 2020 all publishing houses will receive the list of textbooks and the copy numbers they should publish for the school year 2020-2021._VNS






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