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Solution for improving the quality of training international students at Political College

Training political officers for the Lao People's Army and the Royal Cambodian Army is an important task in our defence external affairs. Well performing this task will contribute to building and strengthening the special solidarity, traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Implementing the international cooperation task on education and training assigned by the Ministry of National Defence, over the past years, the Party Committee and Headquarters of the Political College have deeply grasped the Party's views, guidelines and resolutions on international solidarity and cooperation, especially Resolution No. 10-NQ/TW, dated April 11, 1983 of the Politburo (5th tenure) “On strengthening solidarity and comprehensive cooperation with Laos and Cambodia in the new stage ”. At the same time, they have focused on leadership, thorough direction over the tasks, goals, and requirements of training and education; regulations and strict implementation of the stages and steps in the training process; paid attention to, created favorable conditions in all aspects for international students during their learning process. The authorities, faculty, and student management units have focused on building education, motivation, positive spirit, initiative, self-discipline in learning and training for international students. Therefore, the quality of learning, training and scientific research has gradually been improved; the percentage of students achieving good and excellent results is increasing. Many students, after graduating, underwent practical work, became generals and senior officials, holding important positions of the Lao People's Army and the Royal Cambodian Army.

In face of significant changes of the world and regional situations, ethnic and religious conflicts, local war, proxy war, cyber war, information war, etc., are taking place with intensity and complexity. In the future wars, all warring parties are very likely to use high-tech weapons, with almost absolute precision and great destructive power, thus directly affecting the military construction of each country as well as the fighting morale of soldiers on the battlefield. Therefore, it is very necessary to further improve the quality of training political officers, acting as the core in education, building up bravery and fighting morale for officials and soldiers of the Lao People's Army and the Royal Cambodian Army. In order to well perform this task, in the coming time, it is necessary to concentrate on the following major solutions.

Firstly, raising awareness and responsibility of organizations and forces engaged in training international students. Party committees and commandants of agencies, units and faculties should regularly grasp the views and guidelines of our Party and State on defence diplomacy and international training cooperation; on strengthening solidarity, comprehensive cooperation, consolidating fine tradition of friendship between the three countries: Vietnam - Laos - Cambodia. At the same time, strengthening education and fostering to raise awareness and responsibility for the contingent of cadres, lecturers, staff and soldiers on the meaning and importance of cooperation and training of political officers for Lao People's Army and Royal Cambodian Army, considering this an important political task of the Vietnam People's Army in general and the Political College in particular. Thereby, build the right motive in teaching, managing and serving; always show sympathy and sharing with their difficulties; avoid subjective thought, disregard and discrimination in the training process.

Secondly, improving the quality of teaching Vietnamese language for international students. Although before coming to study at the Political College, international students all receive Vietnamese language training at Corps 871 (under the General Political Department of Vietnam People's Army), the number of students who are fluent in Vietnamese is still small (accounting for about 20%). The majority of them only acquire the basic level of communication. Some even can’t speak, write or understand professional words in Vietnamese. Meanwhile, most of the College's staff and lecturers can’t speak the language and are not familiar with the customs of Laos and Cambodia. This is a major barrier in the training process. To overcome this problem, it is necessary to increase the time for training and fostering Vietnamese language for international students, helping them to overcome the language obstacle, confident in studying, working, communicating and living. At the same time, there should be plans to train and foster Lao and Cambodian languages for lecturers and officers who directly teach and manage international students. On the basis of the Protocol on bilateral defense cooperation between the Ministry of National Defence of Vietnam and the Ministry of National Defence of Laos and the Ministry of Defense of Cambodia, functional agencies should actively coordinate and formulate contents, programs and methods of teaching and fostering Vietnamese language for international students in a suitable and effective manner.

Third, regularly educating to raise awareness, build the right learning motivation and provide all round care for international students. The faculties and international student management units should select and assign highly qualified, experienced and responsible officers and lecturers with good command of Lao or Cambodian to conduct teaching and management. The management staff at all levels should always lose with, show their sincerity, caring, sharing; motivate and encourage to make good impression on international students. Thereby, capture and timely solve the ideological issues on the basis of respecting for the personality, customs and culture of their country, creating an atmosphere of democracy, openness, solidarity, unity in the unit. Focusing on building trust, motivation, upholding the sense of responsibility in studying and training for international students. In addition, the school authorities should pay attention and create favorable conditions in facilities, curriculum, and material for international students so that they can promote their activeness and self-awareness in learning and research, develop their theoretical thinking and the ability to apply to solve practical problems, especially the knowledge and skills to conduct political work consistent with the characteristics, requirements, mission of their military. Regularly report on the situation and results of learning and training of international students to the Ministry of National Defence's functional agencies as a basis for exchanging and reaching agreement with VPA’s Lao and Cambodian counterparts on the content and method of teaching, educating, managing and training accordingly; promptly rectify and overcome arising problems.

Fourthly, continuing to perfect the curriculum and training content, and promote innovation of teaching methods. The school should regularly follow the direction of the Department of Schools and coordinate closely with the military attaché office of the Embassies of Laos and Cambodia to unify the formulation of objectives, programs, contents and schedule for training to ensure practicality and effectiveness in the direction of reducing theory, increasing practice and supplementary activities, limiting duplication among modules and subjects, suitable to subjects, forms of training, meeting the requirements of the Lao People's Army and the Royal Cambodian Army. On that basis, the college should cooperate with the Ministry of National Defence's authorities to research and compile a separate curriculum and material for training political officers for the Lao People's Army and the Royal Army. Cambodia. Advise and timely propose measures to solve problems arising to improve the quality of education and training of international students.

During the course of teaching, lecturers should carefully study the characteristics and cognitive levels of the training subjects; promote positive, proactive and creative teaching innovation in teaching methods towards "standardised, modern, systematic, basic, practical and intensive” direction. When teaching each topic, lecturers should pay attention to equip them with the knowledge about social sciences and humanities and build the political steadfastness, and foster lifestyle and working style of political officials. Enhancing the integration of knowledge, experience and skills in conducting political work with propaganda of traditional friendship, special solidarity, comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia; including the propagation of the Party and State's views and policies on defence external and people's diplomacy; expose and criticise the conspiracy and wrongful arguments of hostile forces taking advantage of ethnic, religious, border, territorial issues to incite and undermine the solidarity block between the three Indochinese countries. In addition, the school should also organise extra-curricular activities in a scientific and relevant manner to the content and training program for each school year and the whole course, contributing to fostering the all-round knowledge, improving the expertise and professional skills for international students.

Thoroughly implementing the above solutions will create a scientific foundation for improving the quality of training international students of the Political College, contributing to the successful completion of the defence external tasks and foreign affairs of the Party and the State, continuing to consolidate and develop the solidarity and friendship of the three countries on the Indochina peninsula to new heights.

Senior Colonel, PhD. NGUYEN VAN TUONG

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