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The Air Defense – Air Force Academy builds a high-quality contingent of lecturers

The Air Defense – Air Force Academy (hereinafter the Academy) is the military’s educational institution responsible for running undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and international academic cooperation programmes as well as undertaking scientific research specializing in air defense and air force. In recent years, more demanding requirements have been imposed on the Academy due to tremendous advances in science and technology, the rapid evolution of weaponry, and the military art in air defense operations, as well as growing trends towards education reform. Meanwhile, the Academy has been lacking in teaching personnel, whose professional competence has yet to fulfil requirements, to a greater or lesser degree, particularly command of information technology, foreign languages, new weaponry and modern technology. Against this backdrop, the Academy’s Party Committee and Directorate have adopted multiple breakthrough measures for education reform in general and  high-quality teaching personnel, thereby directly contributing to fulfilling important political tasks assigned by the Ministry of National Defense and the Air Defense-Air Force Service.

To this end, the Academy has attached much importance to thoroughly grasping resolutions and directives by the Party, the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defense concerning education and training, particularly Resolution 29-NQ/TW by the 11th Party Central Committee; Resolution 86-NQ/ĐUQSTW by the Central Military Commission; the Strategy for education and training development for the 2011-2020 period and the Project for strengthening and developing teaching and managerial personnel till 2020 by  the Ministry of National Defense. On that basis, the Academy’s Party Committee and Directorate have issued a lot of resolutions and plans to build their teaching personnel quantitatively and qualitatively in the immediate and long term. Accordingly, the Academy has devised and actively executed “the Strategy on teaching personnel development for the 2011-2015 period and vision to 2020” and “the Project on strengthening and developing teaching and managerial personnel from 2015 to 2020 and beyond”, both of which are aimed at “standardizing the Academy’s teaching and managerial personnel quantitatively and qualitatively” as enshrined in the resolution by the Academy’s the 4th Party Congress.

To this end, the Academy has reviewed the status quo of the quality and quantity of its teaching personnel while accelerating the planning for and the consolidation and development of its teaching staff, thereby making them eligible in terms of age groups, quantities among majors, professional competence and devotion. At the same time, the Academy has put great store on the recruitment and employment of its teaching personnel with enough virtue and professional competence. Much importance has been attached to the teaching personnel with postgraduate degrees and top experts in air defense and air force, who are at the forefront of the Academy’s enhanced quality of education and training. Amidst teacher shortages among some of its majors, over the past years, the Academy has actively reorganized and transferred its teaching personnel while attracting new recruits, including its excellent graduates. The Academy has encouraged self-improvement among its teaching personnel while requesting the higher echelons to assign veteran cadres, particularly pilots, to its faculties as lecturers.

Maj. Gen. Ha Xuan Truong presents awards to winners in the contest of excellent lecturers for 2017-2018 schoolyear

In addition, in order to ensure the teaching staff’s comprehensive development and their fulfillment of requirements set out by the Ministry of National Defense (namely degrees, academic ranks, command of information technology and foreign languages, teaching skills, first-hand experience, and professional ethics), the Academy has placed emphasis on retraining. Accordingly, the Academy has taken academic ranks into active consideration such as permanent lecturers and senior lecturers; diversified modes of study among its teaching staff by either retraining them on the spot or sending them to other educational institutions at home and abroad for further studies, particularly doctoral programmes; and prioritized the recruitment of lecturers specializing in combat training, guiding, radar, missiles, aerospace engineering as well as command and staff at operational and tactical level. Nowadays, against the backdrop of units throughout the Air Defense – Air Force Service being equipped with a lot of new-generation, modified weaponry, the Academy has proactively invited top experts from the Service to teach and share professional experience, thereby updating its teaching staff on professional expertise. In the meantime, the Academy has sent its lecturers to training workshops organized by the higher echelons and to military units and factories throughout the Service as well as military drills and contests at all levels for fieldwork. Every year, the Academy counsels the Service to establish the former’s missile and anti-aircraft artillery squads to join the latter’s air defense regiments in live-fire exercises, thereby enabling its teaching staff to gain real-world experiences of combat readiness training, to enhance their leadership, command and management capacities, as well as to put theory into practice and vice versa.

Furthermore, the Academy has adopted various measures to implement the Project on “enhancing the Air Defense – Air Force Academy’s quality of foreign language education and training from 2015 to 2020 and beyond” aimed at broadening its teaching staff’s foreign language skills amidst the country’s deeper and wider international integration. To this end, in addition to sending its teaching staff abroad for further studies, the Academy has cooperated with prestigious training centers for foreign languages in running courses in order to enable them to standardize their command of foreign languages. The Academy’s Party Committee and Directorate have also had lecturers with good command of foreign languages give some lectures in foreign languages. Being fully aware of challenges posed by the 4th Industrial Revolution, the Academy has focused on improving its teaching personnel’s command of information technology and creating favorable conditions for them to pursue scientific research aimed at producing scientifically valuable products and applying scientific knowledge to their lectures.

Moreover, the Academy has run training courses in teaching methods and skills and requested its faculties to pay attention to lecturers’ pedagogic activities such as teaching practice, mock teaching. At the same time, the Academy has attached much importance to teaching contests as one of the key measures to retrain its lecturers. Thanks to the Academy’s constant efforts, single-minded resolve and appropriate measures, so far, 100% of its lecturers have held undergraduate degrees, 66.92% of whom are postgraduate degree holders. The Academy has been working towards the target of 68 to 70% of its teaching personnel holding postgraduate degrees by 2020 and over 50% of them undertaking fieldwork in military units so that they will serve as the “locomotive” as to the fulfillment of education and training tasks in the immediate and long term.

In order to facilitate their fulfillment of assigned tasks, the Academy has put great store by the management and training of its teaching staff as well as their compensation and benefit packages. First, the Academy has focused on effectively implementing the work of Party building and rectification in line with the Resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee’s 4th plenum associated with the 12th Politburo’s Directive 05 on acceleration of studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s thought, morality and lifestyle and the Campaign “Teachers set typical examples of morality, self-study and creativity”. The Academy has conducted regular inspection and supervision with a view to promptly identifying and redressing its teaching personnel’s shortcomings. Feedback from the Academy’s cadets and its graduates as well has been welcome and regularly collected whereby teaching methods have been able to be improved. Second, the Academy has devoted special attention to its teaching staff’s compensation and benefit packages, such as appointment, promotion, housing, or recruiting their relatives to various positions, with priority given to those making a lot of contributions to the Academy’s development or facing considerable difficulties, thereby enabling them to devote themselves single-mindedly to their teaching.

Thanks to those aforementioned effective measures, the Air Defense – Air Force Academy has gradually built a high-quality contingent of lecturers. It is they that will be at the forefront of making the Academy revolutionary, regular, standardized, modernized and eligible for its assigned tasks, directly contributing to enhancing the quality of the military’s air defense – air force officers to firmly safeguard the country’s airspace.

Maj. Gen. Ha Xuan Truong, Ph.D., Commandant of the Air Defense – Air Force Academy

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