Friday, December 18, 2020, 09:53 (GMT+7)
Present coordination between national defence and security education centres

The Article 12 of the 2013 National Defence and Security Education Law stipulates that “national defence and security education at vocational colleges and university-level institutions is a core subject. It equips learners with basic knowledge of the Party’s viewpoints and the State’s law and policy on national defence and security… so that they could readily join military services for the Homeland protection.” Under that spirit, nowadays, the work of national defence and security education for students is carried out mainly by the system of national defence and security education centres (hereafter the centres for short) nationwide according to the Joint Circular 123/2015/TTLT-BQP-BGDĐT-BLĐTBXH, dated November 5th, 2015 by the Ministry of National Defence (MND), the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), and the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids, and Social Affairs on “the organisation and operation of national defence and security education centres; national defence and security education linkages between colleges and university-level institutions.”

Grasping the Party’s directives and resolutions, legal documents, and competent offices’ guiding documents on national defence and security education, over the years, the centres have established and put linkage of national defence and security education for students from colleges and university-level institutions in order, with the sufficient contents and increasingly raised quality. As a result, young generations have been equipped with the knowledge of national defence and security. Patriotism and national tradition and pride amongst them have been promoted. Students’ awareness and responsibility for national construction and protection have been raised. However, in the education process, there have been several weaknesses and shortcomings for both subjective and objective reasons.

Students in a national defence and security education course

To meet the requirements set by national defence and security education for students and enhance the centres’ capacity, it is vital to maintain close coordination and linkage between the centres stationed in an area or within a region and remove separate operations so that they could exchange experiences, support one another, and deal with thorny issues together.

First, concerning the issue on quantity of students for the centres and their partner universities. Over time, there have been several shortcomings in the distribution of students to the centres under the Joint Circular 123/2015/TTLT-BQP-BGDĐT BLĐTBXH. Several colleges have not recruited students or their enrolments have been in a small number. As a result, in spite of their large capacity, some centres have a limited number of students. Against that backdrop, the MND has cooperated with the MoET and the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs in promulgating the Decision 2320/QĐ-BQP, dated July 25th, 2020 on “adjusting and supplementing the list of national defence and security education linkages” in accordance with the situation. Besides, the annual quantity of new students at several university-level institutions is very large and they all wish to provide national defence and security education for the whole course at the same time. That has led to an overload of students within the centres. Thus, there should be coordination and linkages between the centres so that they will be able to support another and assist partner colleges in ensuring training programmes and the quality of this subject. Doing so will also help settle inadequacies in the number of students amongst the centres.

For example, in 2020, the FPT University needs to send nearly 4,000 students to attend national defence and security education courses. Meanwhile, the National Defence and Security Education Centre under the Hanoi Pedagogical University No.2 is able to provide national defence and security education for only 2,500 students per course. Therefore, the Centre has advised the FPT University on cooperating with the National Defence and Security Education Centre under the Hanoi Capital Command Military School in co-organising national defence and security education courses for student at the same time, which has been highly appreciated.

Second, on coordination to assist cadres and instructors in performing their task. At present, cadres and instructors of the centres are mainly seconded officers. However, cadres and instructors in some centres, such as those in Hanoi Open University, Hong Duc University (Thanh Hoa), and Hanoi University of Industry are all public servants and officials, none of them are seconded officer. In fact, there is a lack of cadres and instructors within the centres and their qualifications are unequal. That has been causing difficulties in teaching, managing and training students within the centres, particularly in peak season. Therefore, they should maintain coordination and linkages to help one another with human resources and make contributions to well performing the task of national defence and security education for students at necessary times.

Third, with reference to the sharing of experiences in management, teaching, and scientific research. The contents and programmes of national defence and security education for students within the centres are identical; therefore, coordination in holding conferences and scientific workshops for the exchange of academic knowledge and the sharing of experiences in management, teaching, scientific research, and the training of students will be very convenient and effective. Via such meetings, measures for developing, standardising and modernising national defence and security education will be introduced. Moreover, every two or three years, clusters of centres should organise national defence and security education competitions for students to raise the quality of this subject in a practical, solid manner and make contributions to making the all-people national defence and the people’s security increasingly strong to meet the requirements set by national construction and protection. In late 2018, the National Defence and Security Education Centres under the Hanoi Pedagogical University No.2, the Hue University, and the Hong Duc University cooperated with one another in successfully holding the scientific conference titled “National defence and security education within the Homeland construction and protection cause in the new situation.” This event by the three centres was very useful for scientists, managers, cadres, and instructors to discuss, analyse, and clarify theoretical and practical issues on teaching, management, education, and training for students as well as on the training and cultivation of instructors from different perspectives and approaches. Via such activities, practical and feasible measures will be proposed to attract learners’ attention, raise the quality of national defence and security education for students, promote their patriotism and national pride, and encourage them to readily do military services.

Fourth, regarding the ensured equality in tuition fees for the subject of national defence and security education amongst students. It is an undeniable fact that national defence and security education for students is a specialised subject. Over the years, competent offices have recommended the Party, the State, and the Government to allow free tuition for this subject; however, for various reasons, the proposal has yet to be realised. Currently, tuition for this subject is regulated under the Government’s Decree 86/2015/NĐ-CP, dated October 2nd, 2015 on “mechanism for collection and management of tuition fees applicable to educational institutions in the national education system and policies on tuition fee exemption and reduction and financial support from academic year 2015 - 2016 to 2020 - 2021.” Nevertheless, tuition fees for the subject of national defence and security education within the centres, colleges, and university-level institutions are different. Thus, there should be directions from competent offices and an agreement between the centres and partner colleges to ensure the equality for students during their learning process.

Organisationally, it is possible to establish clusters of national defence and security education centres, such as (1) the Centres of the Hanoi Pedagogical University No.2 and the Military Region 2’s Military School, (2) the Centres of the National University, Hanoi, the Hanoi University of Physical Education and Sports, and the Hanoi Capital Command’s Military School, and (3) the Centres of the Thai Nguyen University and the Military Region 1’s Military School. Methodologically, to facilitate coordination and perform the task, cluster leadership will be rotated and in charge of organising activities. Over the years, the Hanoi Pedagogical University No.2 has proactively organised activities for the cluster of Central North universities; every two years, each university is in charge of holding conferences, workshops, and professional competitions, with the participation of hundreds of cadres, instructors and students. Such activities have enabled cadres, instructors, and students to improve their knowledge, skills and abilities, while helping foster unity, exchange, and mutual understanding as the basis for raising the quality of human resource training for localities.

Coordination and linkage between the centres are important and necessary to deal with a number of issues. Therefore, competent offices of relevant ministries, committees and sectors as well as the national defence and security education centres nationwide should take this task into consideration in order to better perform the work of national defence and security education for students and greatly contribute to the Homeland construction and protection.

Sr. Col. PHAN XUAN DUNG, PhD, Deputy Head of the National Defence and Security Education Centre, the Hanoi Pedagogical University No.2

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