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Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 06:57 (GMT+7)
Building a revolutionary, regular, standardised, modernised Signal Officer College

The Signal Officer College is tasked with training command and staff signal officers for the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) and several regional countries’ militaries. To meet the task requirements, the College’s Party Committee and Board have been focusing their leadership and direction on building a “revolutionary, regular, standardised, modernised” school via many active, synchronous measures.

The Signal Officer College was founded on November 11th, 1951 according to the then Defence Minister’s Decision 132/QĐ. In the past 70 years of construction and development, cadres, instructors, cadets, employees, and soldiers of the College have always been united and determined to surmount all difficulties and hardships and successfully fulfil the assigned mission, thereby building up the tradition of “proactiveness, creativity, unity, discipline, technical mastery, good teaching, and good learning.” Up to now, the College has trained over 50,000 signal officers and professional employees together with thousands of information technology and communication electronic engineers. Cadres and cadets of the College, in both peacetime and wartime, have always expressed their political zeal, knowledge, creativity, and great professional competence. They took part in teaching, combat, and combat service to make great contributions to our entire people and VPA’s landslide victories in the struggle for national independence and unification as well as to the brilliant performance of the military-defence task, Military build-up, and international mission. Many of them have become senior officials of the Party and the State and generals of the VPA as well.

In recent years, grasping and executing the Party’s guidelines on a reform in education and training as well as directions from the Signal Corps’ Party Committee and Command and competent offices’ guiding documents, the College has adopted various measures to comprehensively and basically renew education and training, actively cooperated with its partners both at home and abroad in education, training, and scientific research, step by step carried out a digital transformation, and built a “smart school” capable of accessing the 4th industrial revolution. Acknowledging those glorious achievements, the State has presented the College with the title of “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces” in the renewal period, the Ho Chi Minh Order, and many other noble rewards.

Amidst the rapid development of international integration, science, and technology, the application of new advances to building and developing the signal system has fundamentally changed the management and exploitation of telecommunication means and services, thereby imposing more demanding requirements on the training of military signal human resources. Being fully aware of the situation, the College’s Party Committee and Board have been focusing their leadership and direction on the building of a “revolutionary, regular, standardised, modernised” Signal Officer College via many active, synchronous measures.

First of all, concentrate on building a politically strong school and keep improving party organisations’ leadership and combativeness during missions, particularly during training and education. The College has directed its offices and units to well implement the Project on renewing political education within military units in the new period, raise the quality of managing and orientating troops’ ideology, and build a pool of cadres, instructors, employees, cadets, and soldiers capable of undertaking and successfully fulfilling all assigned missions. Great value has been attached to raising the effectiveness of internal political protection, carrying out “expanded supervisions” and “focalised inspections,” and preventing and settling weaknesses in the leadership work opportunely to avoid “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” within offices and units. All-level party committees and commands have continued realising viewpoints, targets, and measures set by all-level party congresses for the 2020-2025 tenure, particularly the Directive 9789/CT-BTL, dated December 12th, 2019 by the Signal Corps Commander on building a “smart” Signal Officer College. At the same time, due regard has been paid to building pure, strong party committees and party organisations, amending and completing party committees’ working and leadership statutes, matching words with action, and relating the responsibility of party committees and commanders to the building of party organisations and units.

Cyber warfare course

Second, continue supplementing and completing training programmes and renewing the teaching - learning method. Over the years, the College has drastically, synchronously taken measures to renew its training contents and programmes and actively employed the learner-centred approach, thus achieving encouraging results. However, the outcome has yet to be really comprehensive or keep pace with the development of the military signal system in the new situation. Hence, in the upcoming time, the College will continue reviewing, adjusting, supplementing, “standardising,” and “modernising” its training contents and programmes. In the short term, emphasis will be placed on well implementing the Project to train command and staff signal officers with different specialities (infantry signal, naval signal, and air defence - air force signal) and command and staff cyber warfare officers as well. Significance will be attached to renewing the contents of subjects in a practical, modern manner, reducing duration for theory, and increasing practice, especially for signal organisation and cyber warfare. Besides, due attention will be paid to improving the quality of English teaching and the training of battalion-level cadets, combining full-time training with extra-curricular activities, and deploying cadets to grass-roots level units across the VPA. Importance will be attached to enhancing general practice, rehearsals, and graduation exercises to raise cadets’ capability in dealing with real situations at grass-roots level.

It is worth noting that the College has stepped up the learner-centred approach, employed information technology and simulators for teaching, and developed cadets’ capacity to apply theories and knowledge to reality. Moreover, it has focused on improving cadets’ management, commanding, and working methods and soft skills so that they would adapt to difficult, complex military activities. It has renewed the method of assessing learners’ outcome, with emphasis placed on adopting the outcome standards and carrying out substantive, accurate, objective, and public evaluations to give an incentive to its cadets.

Third, standardise a contingent of instructors and educational managers to meet the task requirements. Being fully aware of the role of instructors in the teaching and learning process, the College has designed and implemented the Project on building and developing a pool of instructors and managerial cadres in the period of 2021-2025. According to the Project, by 2025, over 80% of cadres and instructors must hold postgraduate degrees. To that end, the College has directed competent offices to well carry out the planning of instructors and managerial cadres with sufficient quantity, proper structure, and comprehensive quality to satisfy the requirements of training and education in both long and short term. Significance has been attached to building a contingent of cadres, top instructors, and department deans with sufficient academic ranks and degrees. The quantity and quality of cadres in charge of software development have been raised, while the scale and quality of training human resources in terms of information technology and foreign language for the VPA and the country have been increased. To standardise staff members’ knowledge on a par with their positions, the College has paid due attention to improving its instructors’ capabilities in teaching, foreign languages, information technology, and scientific research as well as its cadres’ managing and commanding methods. It has also sent its instructors to other schools both inside and outside the VPA for further education, while combing on-the-spot training with the training process at grass-roots level units.

Fourth, focus on investing in facilities and training equipment to build a “smart school.” In order to quickly approach advanced education models, the College has mobilised resources to gradually carry out a “digital transformation” and build a “smart school” according to eleven criteria promulgated by the VPA’s General Staff. Emphasis has been placed on constructing smart training facilities, classrooms, libraries, training grounds, and management systems. The College has also concentrated on building a data centre with a system of smart software to enable it to run training courses, develop training schedules, make decisions on training and exercises, and manage training equipment properly. It has developed a security system and employed the Internet of Things to provide applications and data for cadets and instructors during the teaching, learning, and scientific research process. Consideration has been given to applying network technologies and establishing connection via the intranet and the military data transmission network so as to connect classrooms and laboratories with the College’s Command Centre. The College has built training operations centres to give assistance to commanders and offices during training and exercises.

Furthermore, the College has attached great value to the management work and the building of a regular, exemplary school. It has focused on raising the quality and effectiveness of scientific research and aligning this work with training and education. It has strengthened its cooperation with other schools, units, and enterprises in improving its instructors’ professional knowledge, transferring technologies, and accessing advanced services and solutions to raise the quality of training and education and make contributions to building a “revolutionary, regular, elite, gradually modern” VPA.

Sr. Col., Dr. LE XUAN HUNG, Rector of the College

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