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Sunday, September 26, 2021, 15:29 (GMT+7)
Defence and Security Training Centre, Vietnam National University, Hanoi actively adapts to the new normality

The Defence and Security Training Centre, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, is responsible for holding training courses on defence and security for students of VNU and other educational institutions pursuant to Joint Circular No.123/2015/TTLT-BQP-BGDĐT-BLĐTBXH issued on November 5th, 2015 by the Ministers of Defence,  Education and Training, Labor - War Invalids and Social Welfare and Decision No.2320/QĐ-BQP issued on July 25th, 2020 of the Minister of Defence on adjusting and supplementing the list of defence and security education associations. In recent years, the Centre’s defence and security education for students has been implemented seriously, substantively, and effectively to promptly meet the development and high requirements of the cause of building and protecting the Fatherland and affirm the Party and State's appropriate policies and strategies on defence and security education in the new situation.

Currently, the Covid-19 pandemic’s complicated and unpredictable developments are affecting all aspects of socio-economic life, including education and training in general, and defence and security education for students in particular and challenging the Centre to fulfill its tasks in the new normality. For the past two years, the Centre has implemented its plan for defence and security education in the context of both Covid-19 prevention and control and being requisitioned as a concentrated isolation area. With the determination to join forces and unite with the entire political system and people to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic, the Centre Party Committee and Board of Directors have advocated to “well implement social responsibility and jointly shoulder the national responsibility” - one of the VNU’s core values and fulfill the targets of all aspects of defence and security education work, programs, and teaching plans. To realise that political determination, the Centre has drastically implemented its tasks and shifted from centralised teaching and learning to online teaching and learning under the motto of “being proactive and creative to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, students temporarily stop going to the Centre without stopping learning defence and security education”.

A training session on IT application in online teaching

In fact, online teaching and learning has become a common trend and been applied in most member units. It is the main content in digital transformation - a key task in the VNU’s development strategy. However, for the Centre, this is a new and unprecedented form of defence and security education teaching and learning. To perform well this “new and difficult” task, the Centre has determined that it is currently a key task requiring the promotion of synergy and high determination to learn and work concurrently to draw experience lessons in an effective manner and lever the implementation of the Project entitled “Renovation of teaching activities of at the VNU Military and Security Training Centre in the 2019 - 2025 period”.

To promptly consolidate and equip knowledge and skills to use and apply information technology for lecturers and administrators, the Centre has actively coordinated with the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Institute for Education Quality Assurance, and Information Technology Institute (VNU) to open training courses for 100% of officials and lecturers on operating and using the learning management system (LMS).  Techniques for posting and sharing  documents and exercises, checking students' participation, interacting with students, handling online pedagogical situations, etc. have been exchanged, discussed, and practiced thoroughly to create confidence for administrators and lecturers in online teaching and quickly respond to demanding requirements. The technical support team has been intensively trained to serve as the core in assisting and handling technical situations during the online teaching and learning process. In addition, the Centre has also required administrators and lecturers to actively research, exploit, and use other popular online teaching and learning application platforms to increase the quality and effectiveness of teaching and student administration. At the same time, it has immediately invested in upgrading a number of items of information technology infrastructure and teaching equipment and facilities for faculties, departments, and administrators, and lecturers.

Strictly following the provisions under Circular No.05/2020/TT-BGDĐT issued on March 18th, 2020 by the Ministry of Education and Training on “Promulgating the defence and security education program in pedagogical training schools and colleges and higher educational institutions", the Centre has directed training faculties and functional departments to focus on building and compiling lesson outlines, reference materials, question banks, test and answer collections to suit online training and organised rigorous, orderly inspection and acceptance  to ensure quality.

Under the direct leadership of the Organising Committee, the training faculties have assigned lecturers to prepare lectures and lesson plans and regularly exchanged and fostered professional skills and teaching design methods in association with online teaching scenarios to improve the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning; selected lecturers with good qualifications, knowledge, and pedagogical methods to prepare contents and conduct trial lectures to draw experience lessons, thereby adjusting and supplementing suitable contents and practice manners and methods of clear and coherent communication, excitation, and inspiration of students; build the data infrastructure for lecturers to access and use tools and contents included in online teaching; select the test collections for online examination and evaluation of results to ensure fairness and objectivity; unify the processes, contents, and methods for handling possible situations; regulate manners and costumes of lecturers and students during online teaching and learning; and instruct students to access various types of documents, textbooks, reference materials, questions, and content before learning.

Despite having to urgently prepare and implement several tasks concurrently, thanks to its determination, dedication, intelligence, and promotion of the sense of responsibility and enthusiasm, after nearly a month of preparation, on June 23rd, 2021, the Centre “launched its first battle” with 8 online classrooms, including more than 100 connections for each, and began the 66th course of for students from Academy of Education Administration and VNU University of Foreign Studies as planned. After each course, the Centre organised a preliminary review to draw experience lessons and promptly overcome limitations, inadequacies, and continuously improve the quality of teaching and learning. So far, the Centre has completed 4 online courses on theoretical contents of defence and security education for more than 4,000 students with high safety, quality, and efficiency.

Through surveys, the Centre has received positive feedbacks on the contents, organisation, methods, interaction, regularity, and professionalism in classroom management and control of administrators and lecturers. The majority of students have shown their satisfaction with the online teaching and learning of some theoretical contents of defence and security education. Such results affirm that the online teaching, if carefully and thoughtfully prepared, will not be interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. It also creates favourable conditions and opportunities for administrators and lecturers to foster and improve their comprehensive capacities, experience, teaching methods, and information technology qualifications to meet the requirements of renovating teaching activities at the Centre and goals of digital transformation of Vietnam National University, Hanoi and contribute to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of management, administration, teaching, and scientific research.

Dr. NGUYEN DUC DANG, Director of the Centre

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