Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 07:45 (GMT+7)
Educating cadets on cultural lifestyle at the Military Logistics Academy

Cadets in Military Schools in general, at the Military Logistics Academy in particular play an important part in the growth and development of the Army. In order for cadets to be qualified, ethical, and capable of meeting the task requirements, a lot of issues need to be solved, among which cultural lifestyle education lays a solid foundation for shaping cadets’ comprehensive personalities.

Educating cadets on cultural lifestyle plays a crucial role in raising awareness of cultural values, social and moral standards of “the true, the good, and the beautiful” in general as well as norms of Military logistics cadets in particular. These cultural values and standards enable each cadet to assess, adjust his or her own perceptions and behaviors. In addition, education of cultural lifestyle helps raise the awareness of standards in morality, lifestyle, aesthetics and profession as the basis for developing and perfecting revolutionary soldier’s personalities.

A thorough grasp of cultural values and social norms through education and self-education plus the close combination of education and practical activities, etc. help cadets to improve not only efficiency in selection process, but also capability in enhancing their political, moral qualities and competence so as to meet the increasing requirements of the task. This is the process of creating “internal energy” to effectively fight against counterculture, selfishness, pragmatism, ideological deviation, etc. in social life as well as in cadets’ perception and ideology. The purpose of instilling cultural lifestyle into cadets is to make revolutionary ideology, cultural values, aesthetics, work ethics, and national moral standards deeply penetrate into and become the standard in cadets’ thinking, lifestyle and conduct. On the basis of comprehending cultural lifestyle and its educational value, cadets make determined efforts to successfully complete their education and training tasks to become “red and expert” cadres faithfully serving the Army. Therefore, education of cultural lifestyle must center on achieving new human standards which are “comprehensive development, orientation towards the true, the good, and the beautiful, and a thorough understanding of the national spirit, humanities, democracy and science”.

In fact, cultural lifestyle education at the Military Logistics Academy in recent years has made a significant contribution to orientating cadets’ living ideology, shaping their learning motivation, boosting the spirit, belief, moral qualities and a sense of discipline among themselves. However, some limitations and shortcomings still remain in cadets’ lifestyle. Some are not fully aware of their living ideology and cultural values. Worse, they still show dishonesty in exams, behave badly, erode living ideology, and violate qualities and morals of revolutionary soldiers, thereby affecting the education and training process of the Academy as well as each cadet’s personality.

The cause of building a revolutionary, regular, elite and gradually modern Army demands a contingent of cadres with comprehensive qualifications, who possess “virtue, intelligence, and physicality.” Therefore, it is imperative to promote educational activities, orientate living ideology, foster morals and lifestyle and create a favorable environment for developing and perfecting cadets’ personality. In order to improve the effectiveness of cultural lifestyle education for detachment-level officer cadets at the university level within the Military Logistics Academy nowadays, it is necessary to implement some basic solutions as follows.

Firstly, strengthen the leadership and direction of the Academy’s Party Committee and its Board of Directors for cultural lifestyle education. In training, importance should be attached to promoting the synergy of organizations and forces, especially the role of cadres and lecturers in setting examples and educating cultural lifestyle. Simultaneously, emphasis should be placed on combining political and ideological leadership with fostering ideology, ethics and lifestyle in order to help perfect cadets’ personality, and enriching “cultural knowledge” so that cadets know how to evaluate and select values, learn and train on their own, and constantly strive to fulfil the assigned tasks.

Secondly, create a pedagogical cultural environment within the Academy and social institutions in a regular, pure and strong manner. In particular, significance should be attached to building a system of pure and healthy social relations, “formalizing” and “culturalizing” relationships between managerial cadres and cadets, teachers and cadets as well as among cadets themselves, etc. Moreover, it is essential to set the standards in and well orientating cultural values. On that basis, each cadet voluntarily studies and trains themselves to create spiritual power to motivate and orient towards higher personality and intellectual standards. At the same time, it is important to properly and harmoniously handle relationships, help learners fully understand the benefits of learning and practice, prioritize the evaluation of learners’ results that are truly objective, honest and unbiased, commend and create development opportunities for cadets with good learning and training results.

Thirdly, diversify forms of cultural lifestyle education for cadets. First of all, due attention should be paid to providing cultural lifestyle education through teaching and learning activities in subjects such as: Philosophy, Ethics, Scientific Socialism, Revolutionary Path of Vietnam Communist Party, and Vietnamese Culture, etc.  Doing so will help learners form a world outlook and reasoning method, and create “cultural lens” for them to study, select and orient cultural values on their own. The centerpiece is to integrate cultural education into every lecture and lesson, and to require lecturers to set “living examples” for cadets to follow. The school needs to work closely with families to educate cadets on cultural lifestyle and to reach the goal of “preserving and promoting good morals of Vietnamese families as well as enhancing parents’ role model.” Also, consideration should be given to comprehensively educating cadets on politics, ethics, lifestyle, and professional competence and maintaining regular communication between families and the Academy in grasping cadets’ needs, orientation and capability of cultural practice to take timely and effective measures of education.

Fourthly, creatively and effectively use mass media to educate cadets on cultural lifestyle. This measure aims at disseminating and propagating cultural policies and guidelines of the Party and the State, the content of building cultural environment, and aesthetic value orientation. The focal point is to improve the quality of different types of propaganda like movies, newspapers, television, radio, internal broadcasting, panels, posters, etc. so as to make a positive impact on cadets’ emotions, feelings, behaviors, attitudes and responsibilities towards the Academy in particular and the society in general.  To bring into full play the role of mass media, it is necessary for functional agencies and commanding officers of faculties, departments and branches, etc. to exercise close leadership, orientation and strict censorship to avoid arbitrary expression, especially in the orientation of politics, morality, and lifestyle via mass media.

Fifthly, promote the active, positive, self-conscious and creative role of cadets in cultural lifestyle education. With the aim of grasping cultural knowledge of the nation and humanity, cadets must be proactive, self-conscious, receptive, refined, and creative to make cultural values become their unique characteristics. To this end, in the training process, cadets must study, train, perfect, transform, adapt themselves to the requirements of qualifications and competencies according to training goals and demands, as well as the living environment, conditions and activities of the Academy. This is the process in which students self-master their given knowledge, and at the same time, turn the accumulated cultural lifestyle into their typical cultural values. More importantly, cadets learn how to transform cultural knowledge into emotions, wills, beliefs which are embodied in their cultural behaviour.

Sixthly, raise the relevant forces awareness of cultural lifestyle education. To do so, it is necessary to heighten the role of organizations, including the Party, Soldiers’ Council, Women’s Union, Youth Union, etc. Based on their functions and tasks, organizations and forces conduct the process of cultural lifestyle education in different forms and measures but all have to serve the common purpose of building a healthy cultural value for cadets. In particular, lecturers must play an important role in and exert the most direct and powerful influence on shaping cadets’ cultural personality. Cadets’ moral qualities, cultural lifestyle, educational level and their development of independent and creative thinking depend not only on the curriculum, documents, etc. but also on lecturers’ cultural capacity, pedagogical skills, qualifications and lifestyle. In the process of teaching and learning, lecturers are those who directly interact with cadets, grasp their thoughts and aspirations, thereby being capable of adjusting, shaping and orienting cadets’ moral and cultural values, motivating and helping them to perfect themselves. Moreover, it is easy for the teaching staff to identify the standard deviations and the temptations leading to the erosion in cadets’ morality and lifestyle. Certainly, lecturers’ pedagogical skills and method and their conscience, ideology and lifestyle will have a great impact on teaching cadets cultural values. As a result, the Academy should focus on building a contingent of lecturers with cultural lifestyle standard, which is scientifically a decisive factor in this field.

Besides, it is important to promote the role of Youth Union as the representative of the youth, the vanguard in missions as well as the “communist school” in imbuing young people with ideology, morality, and lifestyle. To that end, the Youth Union should design a specific and practical action plan on fostering ideology, aspirations, ambition, worldview, human outlook, communist belief, responsibilities and obligations of revolutionary soldiers. Accordingly, the Youth Union needs to improve the effectiveness of action plans and forms, such as contests, youth forums, exchange activities on culture, art, sports and education on ideology and revolutionary tradition, etc.  Moreover, it is essential to be proactive in researching and trialling new forms to educate its members more effectively, and avoid the tendency of neglect and stereotype in determining activities for young people.

Culture is not only the target but also the driving force of social development. In other words, “culture enlightens the path forward for the nation”, which includes the heroic Vietnam People’s Army. Therefore, cultural lifestyle education for cadets in Military schools in general and at the Military Logistics Academy in particular plays a significant part in laying the foundation for building and perfecting personality of revolutionary soldiers who are absolutely loyal to the Fatherland, the Party, the State and the People as well as ready to undertake and fulfil all assigned tasks.

Senior Colonel Nguyen Huy Dong, PhD, The Military Logistics Academy

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