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Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 10:14 (GMT+7)
Following Uncle Ho’s teachings, Political Officer College enhances the quality of training political cadres

Political Officer College (hereafter the School) is tasked with training battalion-level political officers with bachelor’s degrees, battalion-level political officers shifted from non-political majors, lecturers of social sciences and humanities, political cadres for foreign armies (when assigned), postgraduates, and maintaining readiness to undertake and accomplish other tasks.

Being imbued with Uncle Ho’s teachings “The behaviour of political commissars has a crucial influence on soldiers. A good political commissar is a good example for soldiers to follow. If political commissars do not fulfill their duties, neither will their soldiers”, over the past 40 years, especially over 10 years after the re-establishment, under the direct leadership of the Central Military Commission and Ministry of National Defense, with the strong determination and breakthrough in the leadership and management of the School’s Party Committee and Director Board, the School’s generations of cadres, lecturers, cadets, and soldiers have overcome all difficulties and demonstrated solidarity, activeness, and creativity to constantly improve the quality of education and training, deserving to be a military centre of battalion-level political cadre training and social sciences and humanities research. Political cadres graduated from the School over the periods have always well fulfilled their assigned tasks, having good qualities, capabilities, ethics, and working style and method and showing their true status of both “red” and “expert” political leaders and  soldiers’ “brothers, sisters, and friends”. Thereby, it has contributed to improving the effectiveness of party and political work, promoting the leadership role of party committees and organizations and the capability of commanders, and building a politically strong Army. With the achievements after 10-year re-establishment, the School was awarded 2 Fatherland Protection Medals (2nd and 3rd Class), 1 Military Feat Medal (2nd Class), 1 Government’s Emulation Flag and many other noble rewards.

Lt. Gen. Pham Quoc Trung introduces training aids at the launching ceremony of the training session 2018

To obtain the above achievements, first and foremost, the School’s Party Committee and Director Board have always concentrated on the education work to raise cadres, lecturers and cadets’ awareness and responsibility for education and training tasks. In particular, the School has attached great significance to clarifying the goal, significance, honour and responsibility for the task of educating and training military political cadres as well as the basic requirements, advantages and disadvantages for each object. At the same time, due regard has been paid to thoroughly grasping and heightening the awareness of School’s position in the system of military schools and the role of its training quality in building the Army politically. By doing this, it has encouraged cadres, lecturers and cadets to raise their sense of responsibility, self-reliance and self-resilence, to build up learning motives, professional ethics and the spirit of “good teaching, good learning, good work”, to actively study and generate creativity in every task, and to show honesty, seriousness, and progress-seeking attitude in studying, teaching and scientific research. Additionally, efforts have been devoted to thoroughly dealing with the fear of renewal, the manifestations of being afraid of difficulties and harshness, the lack of determination and responsibility for work, the “achievement disease” as well as the violations of the School’s regulations.

Following Uncle Ho’s teachings “cadre is the root of all work” and “if there is no teacher, there is no education”, the School’s Party Committee and Director Board have determined to concentrate on building the contingent of cadres and lecturers on a par with the missions in the new situation. The focus has been placed on building a contingent of cadres and lecturers with sufficient quantity and appropriate reserve force, good political quality, professional ethics, knowledge, and pedagogical skills as well as good capabilities in teaching, scientific research, leadership, management and practical activity organisation. Meanwhile, due attention has been paid to aligning the responsibility of cadres and lecturers with the quality of training and  creating favourable conditions for them to obtain enough criteria to be elected and selected as good lecturers and managers and to be recognized with the titles of science and the titles of people’s teacher and meritorious teacher, etc. For managerial cadres and commanders at all levels, they must have academic qualifications in line with the standards of each title and truly be the second teachers in managing and educating cadets. In pursuit of that purpose, the School has defined that cadre training must be one step ahead in the combination with cadre use. Particularly, in training and fostering cadres, it is necessary to constantly update cadres on new knowledge relevant to the requirements of building the Army in the new situation. Under the motto: staying close to battalion-level’s operations to enhance the practicality in teaching and scientific research, the School has effectively carried out the tasks of dispatching cadres and lecturers on missions at units throughout the Army, training information technology and foreign languages, renovating teaching methods, and organising contests and competitions, etc. Thanks to that, the School’s cadres and lecturers have been really examples of political standpoint, ethics, lifestyle, capability, working style and method, and leadership and commanding style. To date, 100% of the School’s cadres and lecturers have held  bachelor’s degrees and above, 38% of them have held postgraduate degrees, 13% of them have been recognized with the titles of associate professors, meritorious lecturers, and major lecturers.

One of the breakthrough measures to improve the School’s training quality is to renovate content, methods and forms of teaching and learning and make them relevant to reality. Specifically, the School has focused on training cadets according to the requirements set by reality, combined studying with training, and promoted cadet’s activeness and creativity. Following Uncle Ho’s teachings “Learning to practise; learning and practising must go together. Learning is futile without practising. Practising is not effective without learning” and thoroughly grasping the directives and resolutions of the Party and the Central Military Commission on education and training, especially the Resolution of the Party Central Committee’s 8th Plenum (11th tenure) on fundamental and comprehensive reform of education and training, the School has determined that the renovation of contents, forms and methods of teaching must spring from learners and take learners as the centre.

At the same time, value should be attached to reviewing, adjusting syllabuses and plans for the objects, reducing content and time for theory in class, increasing content and time for practice, improving the quality of extra-curricular activities, cutting duplicate content, introducing new knowledge, renovating teaching content, and avoiding lagging behind field activities. Up to now, the School has edited and formulated 32 programs, plans and syllabuses for the objects, compiled and supplemented the system of textbooks and teaching materials to meet the training objectives and requirements in the new situation. Along with that, teaching methods and forms have been actively renovated and made relevant to reality, ensuring science and effectiveness. The School has combined tactical training with party and political work, widely employed active teaching methods, diversified extra-curricular activities, and increased practice knowledge and capacity, and physical training for cadets. In the meantime, it has introduced regulations on applying information technology, while changing the approach to teaching method renovation and encouraging the method of suggesting the topics for discussion and debate. Accordingly, in each lesson, lecturers have to ask questions for discussion in order to promote cadets’ activeness, creativity, sensitivity, and self-learning. Under the motto “the School stays close to units; the School gets ahead of units”, meeting the training requirements set by units, on a yearly basis, the School has carried out the surveys on cadet quality after graduation as the basis to renovate, supplement and adjust the teaching content, forms and methods appropriately. To effectively promote the forms of internship for final-year cadets, the School’s proposal of trainee platoon commander in the political cadre training process has been accepted by the Ministry of National Defence. During the course, cadets are dispatched to get internship twice (trainee platoon commander and trainee company political commissar respectively). The time limits, areas and types of units during internship are regularly adjusted and expanded in order to facilitate the cadets’ hands-on experience from units’ operations. Thus, the School’s training quality has been constantly improved. Regarding annual academic classification, 100% of cadets are rated satisfactory, 78.07% to 95.69% of which are rated credit and distinction. According to the field surveys, after graduation, the battalion-level political officers have well fulfilled their assigned tasks and deserved the position of political leader at their units.

In order that the School could enhance the effectiveness of education and training while its affiliates are dispersed, great value has been attached to shaping a healthy pedagogical environment. The School’s Party Committee and Director Board have promoted the leadership role of party committees, party organisations, and key cadres at all levels and brought into full play the role of organisations and forces, creating solidarity and unity in pedagogical environment construction. At the same time, the system of regulations regarding the education and training work has been formulated, improved, and promulgated, such as regulations on education and training, regulations on regularity and discipline maintenance, a set of basic criteria for assessing cadets’ practising capability, etc. In addition, clubs have been founded for cadets to help and encourage each other in their study, activities, and scientific research, including Information Technology Club, Arts and Literature Club, English Club. Besides, the School has played the column “Let’s learn English” on the internal radio station and integrated foreign language study with unit’s activities, creating a favorable environment for cadets to learn and train. The testing forms and methods, especially the content related to the application of party and political work knowledge and skills to military subjects, have been actively renovated. Due regard has been paid to intensifying administrative reform, investing in building specialized classrooms, and ensuring the material and spiritual life of cadres, soldiers, lecturers and cadets. Furthermore, the School has synchronously carried out measures to manage, educate and train cadets’ political cadre personality, while ensuring that every cadre and lecturer is a pedagogue exemplary in terms of personality, morality, and lifestyle. The agencies and units have strictly maintained the orders and regulations, strengthened measures to take in situations, opportunely detected, prevented and resolutely handled violations of law and discipline, focused on the work of propaganda, education, and persuasion, and used the word “no” instead of “prohibition”, thereby achieving the self-awareness in the observance of State's law, military discipline, and School’s regulations. At the same time, importance has been attached to actively preventing and fighting against manifestations of degradation in political ideology, ethics and lifestyle, internal “self-evolution” and “self-transformation”, building a healthy military cultural environment.

Promoting the tradition of “Being loyal, creative, and united, overcoming difficulties, teaching well, studying well” and accelerating the study and following of Ho Chi Minh’s thought, morals and style, in the upcoming time, the School will keep improving the quality of training political cadres and making the School regular, advanced, and exemplary to deserve to be one of the key military schools and meet the requirements of building a politically strong Army in the new situation.

Lt. Gen., Assoc. Prof, Dr Pham Quoc Trung, Rector of the Political Officer College

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