Monday, January 17, 2022, 11:20 (GMT+7)
On the improved quality of teaching social sciences and humanities within military academies and schools

Building a contingent of cadres with political zeal, absolute loyalty to the Party, the Homeland, and the People, and sufficient qualities and prestige on a par with their task requirements represents an important, consistent part of the Military’s personnel training and retraining work. In this regard, raising the quality of teaching social sciences and humanities at military academies and schools is a centrepiece.

There is a fact that social sciences and humanities are tasked with conducting basic, comprehensive researches into society and humans, “making important contributions to providing scientific arguments for formulating the Party’s guidelines and the State’s laws and policies, asserting the formation and development of our country, defending our national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and preserving Vietnam’s values and culture.” Within the Military, social sciences and humanities directly significantly contribute to forming and developing cadres’ world view and scientific methodology, and educating cadres on combat goal and ideal, political orientation, and revolutionary morality so that they could act as the core fore in building a strong Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) in terms of politics, ideology, organisation, and personnel and ensuring the Party’s absolute, direct leadership over the Military. At the same time, social sciences and humanities help equip leaners with basic knowledge so that they could fight against wrong, hostile viewpoints in ideological - theoretical fields to protect and develop Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh’ ideology, and the Party’s guidelines.

Over the years, the teaching of social sciences and humanities at military academies and schools has obtained many significant achievements as the basis for improving cadres’ political zeal and absolute loyalty to the Party, the Homeland, and the People and building a revolutionary, regular, elite, and gradually modern VPA. However, this work has still exposed several shortcomings. A number of cadres, instructors, and cadets have yet to be fully aware of the role of social sciences and humanities in training military cadres. The building of a contingent of instructors of social sciences and humanities in some academies and schools has yet to be in line with their personnel planning. The quality of teaching social sciences and humanities has yet to be really high. There has been a lack of textbooks and documents for those subjects in some training facilities. The contents of training documents have yet to keep pace with the developments of reality.

In order to realise the goal of building a compact, strong VPA by 2025 as a solid prerequisite for building a revolutionary, regular, elite, modern, and politically, ideologically, morally, and organisationally strong VPA by 2030,” this article proposes a number of measures to improve the quality of teaching social sciences and humanities within military academies and schools as follows.

First, raise the awareness and responsibility of cadres, instructors, and cadets for the teaching of social sciences and humanities. This measure plays a decisive role in the quality of teaching and learning social sciences and humanities. Therefore, military academies and schools should continue grasping and strictly implementing resolutions, directives, and regulations by the Party, the Central Military Commission (CMC), and the Ministry of National Defence (MND), particularly Resolutions of the 13th National Party Congress and the 11th Military Party Congress, the 12th Party Central Committee’s Resolution 26-NQ/TW, dated May 19th, 2018 on building a contingent of cadres, especially at strategic level with sufficient qualities, capabilities, and prestige on a par with their task requirements, the CMC’s Resolution 109-NQ/QUTW, dated February 11th, 2019 on “building a pool of military cadres, especially at campaign and strategic levels to meet the task requirements in the new situation,” and policies on basically, comprehensively reforming education and training and raising the quality of human resources. Doing so will help make a huge positive change in cadres, instructors, and cadets’ awareness of the teaching of social sciences and humanities within military academies and schools. Moreover, it is necessary to well carry out the work of information relating to social sciences and humanities and conduct reviews to opportunely detect and multiply effective models and approaches, and encourage self-study and self-improvement amongst instructors, cadets, educational managers, and researchers of social sciences and humanities within the VPA.

Second, well conduct the planning and training of instructors of social sciences and humanities within the Military. This measure is of utmost importance to improving the quality of instructors within military academies and schools. Thus, grounded on higher echelons’ direction and guiding documents, all-level party committees should design personnel plans and they should review and adjust their plans on a yearly basis to meet the task requirements. In the process, it is essential to ensure inheritance, development, and solid, continuous transition between generations of instructors. Due attention should be paid to building a contingent of instructors of social sciences and humanities with political zeal, pure morality, professional competence, good teaching skills, and great hands-on experience to meet their task requirements in both long and short term. Military academies and schools could directly select and train their cadets, who specialise in social sciences and humanities and graduate with distinction, as well as political cadres with good specialised knowledge, pedagogical competence, and hands-on experience from offices and units to supplement their pool of instructors of social sciences and humanities under the MND’s Project. Additionally, a synchronous, comprehensive reform in the training of instructors of social sciences and humanities must be based on the Resolutions of the 13th National Party Congress and the 11th Military Party Congress. More specifically, it is necessary to train cadres according to their positions, educational backgrounds, and political theoretical knowledge and improve their political qualities, comprehensive knowledge, and working style. Great value should be attached to designing contents of training programmes in a comprehensive, fundamental, intensive fashion. Besides, military academies and schools should deploy their cadres and instructors to attend training and retraining courses held at research and education facilities well known for social sciences and humanities outside the VPA.

Third, attach importance to conducting a reform in programmes, contents, forms, and methods of teaching and learning social sciences and humanities in accordance with each group of learners and reality. In the process, such a reform should be carried out in a synchronous, active, proactive, cautious, accurate manner to minimise overlapping contents. To maximise contents and programmes of training relevant to their training goals and models, military academies and schools should grasp and stringently implement Decisions 1650 and 1651/QĐ-CT, dated September 25th, 2018 by Director of the General Department of Politics on “the Programme of Social Sciences and Humanities to train staff - command officers and political officers at tactical level within the VPA.” Significance should be attached to updating new achievements and knowledge of social sciences and humanities to design textbooks and training documents. At the same time, it is important to adhere to political theoretical training programmes at elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels by the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics to develop training programmes relevant to the VPA’s task requirements and the Party’s goal of standardising cadres and party members’ political theoretical knowledge.

To renew forms and methods of teaching and learning, due attention should be paid to heightening proactiveness and creativity, promoting democracy in scientific debates, and improving cadets’ scientific thinking. It is essential to closely combine theories of social sciences and humanities with reality to orientate learners and enable them to creatively apply knowledge acquired from the training process to their tasks after graduation. Importance should be attached to employing both traditional and modern teaching methods and developing learners’ scientific thinking and working style. Military academies and schools should diversify forms of teaching and organising more knowledge contests on social sciences and humanities to bring into play their instructors, cadets, and educational managers’ proactiveness and creativity in research, teaching, and learning.

Fourth, formulate and perfect mechanisms and policies to encourage instructors of social sciences and humanities within the Military to dedicate themselves to their work. Competent offices should proactively propose, supplement, and complete regulations on recruiting, training, managing, and using instructors of social sciences and humanities to achieve great consistency within military academies and schools. Due regard should be paid to ensuring policies and entitlements on a par with the fruits of creative labour, improving instructors’ working and living conditions, and well implementing policies for military families in accordance each office and unit’s practical conditions. Consideration should be given to encouraging instructors to actively take part in fighting against wrong, hostile viewpoints. A favourable condition should be created for instructors to improve their knowledge of foreign languages so that they could use foreign sources in their teaching and they could work in the international environment. At the same time, it is vital to help young instructors to obtain academic degrees and ranks, well perform the work of job rotation, and work towards specific plans for detecting, training, and developing instructors of social sciences and humanities within the Military.

Sr. Col. HOANG DINH CHIEU, PhD, Department of Personnel, General Department of Politics

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