Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 03:45 (GMT+7)

Monday, July 20, 2020, 06:46 (GMT+7)
Political education at the Army Corps 4

Political education is one of the basic and decisive factors in consolidating the stance and viewpoints of cadres and soldiers, shaping and developing their qualities and personality, preventing the decline of political ideology, morality and lifestyle amongst them, and making them always capable of undertaking and fulfilling all assigned tasks. For the Army Corps 4 - a main active and mobile unit of the Army, this work is even more important since the Corps performs its tasks in a wide area, under the complex impacts of the complex politico-economic and defence-security situation. Therefore, in recent years, the Corps’ Party Committee and Commanders have implemented guidelines and measures to lead, direct, and improve the work of political education, considering it a basis for raising the Corps’ comprehensive quality, combat readiness and combat strength.

All-level party committees and commands within the Corps have always grasped the Directive 124-CT/QUTW, dated March 31st, 2011 by the Central Military Commission Standing Board on strengthening leadership over political education at military units in the new period, the Decision 2677/QĐ-BQP, dated July 21st, 2013 by the Minister of National Defence, and the Guidance 2345/HD-TH, dated June 24th, 2014 by the Department of Propaganda and Training under the General Department of Politics. Annually, they issue specialized resolutions on improving the quality and effectiveness of political education. Those documents have been centred on thoroughly grasping task requirements and the importance of renewing political education at units, and clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of cadres and party members, especially party committee members and commanding officers at all levels in leading, directing and performing the work of political education. Agencies and units have thoroughly grasped and strictly implemented the Regulation on Political Education, while completely settling the sign of assigning this work only to political agencies and officers. At the same time, the Corps has worked out a plan to execute the Project of the Ministry of Defence, identified the content, method, roadmap, duration, and then selected units to set role models in each piece of work. The result of political education is considered a criterion for evaluating organizational and individual task performance. In the process, party committees, political commissars, commanders and political agencies at all levels have regularly conducted inspection and reviews to find out advantages and shortcomings so as to ensure the rate of progress.

Clearly understanding the role of political officers and particularly political instructors at units, the Corps’ Party Committee has paid attention to the development of these officers. As a result, the Corps’ contingent of political officers and instructors has been strengthened both quantitatively and qualitatively. Emphasis has been placed on recruiting officers who are good models at their units and have deep political, economical, cultural and social knowledge, good teaching method and scientific working style. Annually, the Corps organizes in-service training for 100% of party committee members and political officers to improve the content and method of political education. Advocating that "the Corps’ political agency assists units, senior officers assist the junior ones", and "focusing on overcoming weak points", agencies and units have well organized regular on-the-spot training courses and training through teaching competitions and rehearsals. At the same time, importance has been attached to holding training courses to improve political instructors’ comprehensive knowledge, teaching methods, and IT skills. In the last 5 years, the Corps has organized 8 refresher courses for 1,656 political officers. In addition, it has directed units to hold 65 training classes for 3,975 officers. In the process, commanders of units have regularly inspected classes; therefore, political instructors have thoroughly prepared lesson plans and strictly followed teaching schedules and disciplines. Up to now, 100% of the Corps’ political officers have successfully performed the task of political training at each level and known how to design electronic lesson plans and use PowerPoint and other means to support their lessons.

Soldiers read newspapers during their break on the training ground

Due regard has been paid to renewing forms and methods of political education. Accordingly, agencies and units have flexibly applied forms of education relevant to the characteristics, tasks, and psychology and cognitive level of officers and soldiers. In this regard, emphasis has been placed on thematic research, news briefings, political-ideological meetings, newspaper reading, radio listening, and propaganda via internal radio systems, forums and dialogues. Grounded on the guidance by the Department of Propaganda and Training under the General Department of Politics, agencies and units have renewed the method of preparing lesson plans, while combining the basic contents with the contents designed by them. The Corps’ Political Division has prepared references and supplementary documents to support political education, such as ideological situations that might occur at units and solutions, the history of the Corps in Cambodia, the Corps’ Party Congresses, the history of the South of Viet Nam, and documentary films and songs about the tradition of the Corps. In addition, significance has been attached to including legal education in political education as a basic content of the political education program at units for all officers and soldiers. Together with strictly implementing the Grassroots Democracy Regulation, Political-Cultural-Spiritual Day, and Legal Study Day, units have regularly maintained and expanded models and initiatives, such as the internal radio program “voice of junior political commissars”, video clips for political education at the Division 9, wireless internal radio, and soldiers’ cultural park. At the same time, great value has been attached to maintaining recreational activities, such as cultural programs, physical training and sports, competitions and seminars, particularly “the Youth with the State law and military disciplines”, “the Youth with military standard order building, discipline and traffic safety”, and “tradition of units, divisions and the Corps”, etc.

Concerning methodology, the Corps has focused on combining basic education with regular education, aligning comprehensive education with education for each group of troops, and maintaining coordination between units, local authorities and families in education for its soldiers. At the end of the training courses for recruits, after annual task accomplishment and on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, all units have sent Letters of Mission Accomplishment and Happy New Year to families of their soldiers. For its officers, the Corps has employed the method of raising topics so that they would self-study and write assignments. For its professional service men and women, non-commissioned officers, national defence employees, and soldiers, the Corps has applied the method of combining lectures with seminars.

Attention has been paid to closely combining political education with a reform in ideological meetings. Units within the Corps have focused on thoroughly and strictly implementing the Resolution of the 4th Plenum of 12th Party Central Committee on Party building and rectification, the Directive 05-CT/TW by the 12th Politburo on "learning and following Ho Chi Minh's ideology, morality, and style", and the Campaign on promoting tradition, dedicating talents and deserving the title of "Uncle Ho's Soldiers" in the new period launched by the Central Military Commission Standing Board. Officers at all levels have been required to make typical examples in political stance, morality, working style and task performance. Twinning programs between units and local agencies, mass mobilization, visits to historical sites, and the execution of major movements and campaigns launched by the Party, the State and the Army have been exploited to raise officers and soldiers’ cultural awareness and knowledge, build up their personalities and determination, and encourage them to fulfil their tasks. Emphasis has also been placed on promoting the synergy of organizations and forces, especially the responsibility and management of the commanding officers at all levels, political agencies’ task of giving advice, guiding and inspecting political and ideological activities at units, the role of Youth Union in organizing education and training programs for officers and Youth Union members, and the role of military collectives in training and managing troops. The Corps has frequently conducted emulation reviews for agencies and units; thereby, obstacles have been detected and overcome, weak points have been solved, experience has been drawn, and soldiers’ thoughts have been opportunely directed. In addition, units have also actively improved the quality of dialogues, conducted direct discussions among soldiers and officers on sensitive issues that may cause negative effects on them, welcomed their ideas and opportunely resolved their legitimate desires and aspirations.

Units have maintained the regulations on news briefing. The contents of news briefings are selected on the basis of guidelines by senior agencies and combined with the news on mass media and units’ regular activities so that soldiers are opportunely provided with hot news and issues of concern. Doing so has also enabled them to understand the situations, show their right attitude and responsibility towards socio-political events, and build a spirit of solidarity, unification, positive thinking to overcome difficulties in the performance of tasks.

Thanks to the right policy, with many creative forms and measures, over the past years, the political education work in the Army Corps 4 has made positive changes. The political awareness of officers and soldiers has been gradually raised. The training quality and combat readiness of the Corps have constantly been improved. And the most important thing is that political education has directly contributed to raising troops’ awareness of their mission, building their political will and determination, and strengthening their confidence in the Party and the regime. In the face of complicated developments of the situation, the majority of party members, officers and soldiers within the Corps have always remained steadfast and determined, maintained a sense of revolutionary vigilance, correctly identified opponents, partners, and tasks of the Army, the Corps and their units, and observed laws and discipline. Therefore, the number of violations of discipline and traffic accidents has been reduced. These results have positively contributed to building clean and strong party organizations and comprehensively strong units.

Col. LE KHAC HUY, PhD

Head of the Corps’ Propaganda and Training Agency

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