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Monday, August 14, 2017, 18:04 (GMT+7)
Speeding up the Strategy for Education and Training Development in the Military

The Strategy for Education and Training Development in Vietnam’s People’s Army (VPA) for the period of 2011-2020 has been realized for two-thirds of the total time and recorded fundamental achievements. On such a basis, the whole military will continue to strive for the fulfillment of designated goals, making contributions to building the VPA and safeguarding the Fatherland in the new era.

Lieutenant General Pham Hong Huong addressing the Opening Ceremony of Military Academy of Logistics for 2016-2017 academic year

After 7 years of implementing the Strategy for Education and Training Development in the VPA for the period of 2011-2020, education and training work has witnessed many new developments, made positive changes in terms of quality, and step by step integrated in the national education and training system. School system in the VPA is innovated in the direction of leanness, high efficiency, and stability in terms of organization and tasks. The teaching staff and commanding officers continue to be supplemented to ensure that they are basically sufficient in number, structurally synchronous, and meet the required standards. The cultivation of lecturers, teachers, and education managers is conducted actively and sticks to demands, functions, and missions. Programs, content, and teaching methods are gradually renewed in a modern, scientific direction, which follows close behind realities, requirements, and tasks of building the VPA and safeguarding the Fatherland in the new era. Training facilities and equipment, especially training grounds, continue to be improved, contributing to enhancing teaching and learning quality. Standardization and discipline training are regularly carried out and become good order and discipline. Academies, colleges, and schools have implemented many measures to encourage instructors, commanding officers, and military cadets to actively participate in scientific research. Research projects are highly feasible, stick to realities, and directly serve education and training, and combat readiness of units. However, the implementation has shown limitations and weaknesses, as compared to the strategic goals. Some training programs and content have not been timely updated on new developments in terms of combat methods and weapons and equipment yet. Teaching methods in several training institutions are slow in innovating and modernizing, which fail to bring into play learners’ self-study and creativeness. Some teachers have not met academic standards, practical experience, and pedagogic skills, particularly knowledge of foreign languages. There remain some limitations in physical training, which exert influence on improving soldiers’ fitness, agility, and adjustment to difficult, harsh conditions of modern warfare. In the 2016-2020 period, the Ministry of National Defence (MND) has set out goals and requirements for education and training development in the military: “comprehensive innovation, basic and sound transformation in the quality and effectiveness of education, training, and scientific research. It is necessary to develop specialized, technical officers and military personnel who demonstrate a strong political spirit and are absolutely faithful to the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), the Fatherland and people; have the capability in creative thinking; possess good knowledge of military, politics, science, and technology to satisfy operational requirements of high-tech wars. The project to train and cultivate teachers and education managers has to be completed. As a direct result of the project, by 2020, 100 per cent of lectures at military academies, colleges and schools will hold bachelor’s degrees, in which over 60 per cent will hold postgraduate degrees; 100 per cent of university lecturers earn postgraduate degrees; 90 per cent of instructors at military region and army corps-level colleges and schools will hold bachelor’s degrees, in which 25 per cent will have postgraduate degrees. Cooperation and collaboration on training and scientific research with domestic and international education institutions are to be promoted. Some advanced, modern training programs and course books on natural science, technique, and technology, which are in congruence with the VPA’s development requirements, will be applied. It is necessary to conduct training according to positions, in which detachment level officers will basically graduate from universities and colleges, as well as other training institutions to satisfy the need for on-site cadres in all regions, ensuring a sufficient number and reasonable structure of officers, non-commissioned officers, and specialized and technical personnel, and the requirement for military organization and structure in the coming years.

In order to attain those goals and lay the foundation for a basic and comprehensive innovation in education and training at military training institutions, it is necessary to perform well the following measures:

1. Continuing to thoroughly grasp the Party’s resolutions and instruction on education and training, especially Resolution 29-NQ/TW, dated November 4th, 2013, of the 8th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (Tenure XI) on “fundamental, comprehensive innovation in education and training, serving industrialization and modernization in a socialist oriented market economy during international integration,” and resolutions of the 12th National Party Congress and the 10th Military Party Congress. Notably, it is vital to fully grasp the positions, policies, goals, demands, and tasks of the Strategy for Education and Training Development in the VPA for the period of 2011-2020; and reexamine the goals and content which need to be realized in the time to come, including the planning of military school system, development of teachers and education managers, renewal of education and training programs, content, and methods, and so on. Moreover, policies of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the MND on the correct implementation of training functions and missions of military academies, colleges, and schools, which focus on training for the building of the VPA and national defence in the new era, must be strictly pursued.

2. Promoting the planning of military school system in a compact, strong, and logical direction, meeting the demands of standardization and modernization. First of all, it is important to identify and stabilize organization, staff, functions, tasks, scopes, branches, and training levels and qualification of each training institution to ensure their congruence with education and training tasks and subjects. In addition, the practical needs of services, arms, and industries will serve as the foundation for determining the amount of training to ensure suitability and balance in geographical terms, military specialty and congruence with the demands of building the VPA in both peacetime and wartime. Priority should be given to major schools which have reach national, regional, and international standards. Military schools at military region and army corps-levels will be reconstructed on the basis of merging training institutions under the control of military regions and army corps. Others will be reconstructed in a compact direction and sensibly located in both the North and the South.

3. Improving the quality and standardization of teaching staff and education managers. First of all, it is necessary to complete the development and promulgation of common standards of teachers and managers working at military schools. There is a need to review and evaluate the current number and quality of teaching staff and education managers. This will serve as the basis for developing training plans in both Vietnam and other countries; combining on-site training with sending teachers to other training institutions, and full time training at training institutions with self-study; and dispatching teachers to hold compatible posts at units. At the same time, attention should be paid to program development and cultivation of teachers capable of teaching foreign languages for specific purposes and delivering lessons through foreign languages

4. Continuing to renew education and training programs, content, and methods in astandardized and modernized direction.” The development of training programs must ensure inheritance to strive for integration and connectivity between training levels and avoiding coincidence of content and programs between training levels. First of all, it is necessary to concentrate on cultivating military cadets who have a strong political spirit, are loyal to the Party goals and ideals, and are willing to fight and sacrifice for the defence of the Fatherland in any situations. Appropriate attention should be paid to the delivery of specialized knowledge which is suitable for the particularities of each service, arm, organizational structure, weapons and equipment, and military art of Vietnam. Priorities are also given to education of common knowledge of state management, law, and so forth. Teaching methods should be innovated in the direction of employing an active learning and teaching model in order to bring into play learners’ self-consciousness, proactiveness, and creativeness; turn the training process into a self-training one; and devote more time to practice and exercises with many features of the wars to safeguard the Fatherland in the new situation.

5. Broadening international cooperation on training and strengthening training connectivity between military training institutions and the civilian ones. Programs of education and training cooperation with training institutions in Vietnam and foreign countries need to be carried out effectively on the basis of the Party’s positions on foreign policy and under the direct leadership of the MND. It is important to scrutinize several advanced models of education in the world and creatively apply to military institutions, especially those with highly specialized training areas such as military medicine, military techniques, and foreign languages. International standards are encouraged to apply (to some subjects) during the development and renewal of training programs and scientific research. Advanced English programs are also introduced to improve teachers’ standards for foreign languages, meeting the demands of teaching and learning and scientific study in the new period. Cooperation on training military personnel for traditional friends, ASEAN member states, and other countries continues to be enhanced.

6. Standardization and modernization of facilities and equipment dedicated to teaching and learning and scientific study in education and training institutions. It is necessary to increase investment in facilities and give appropriate priorities to education and training institutions which are identified as national and military key ones. There is a need to promote in-depth investment and application of simulation technologies for modeling new-generation weapons and equipment in education and training institutions; upgrade facilities and equipment directly serving the needs of teaching and learning and scientific research, including training centres, simulation centres, training grounds, specialized classrooms, laboratories, etc., contributing to raising the quality of education and training and scientific study in education and training institutions. In addition, special attention should be paid to the development of IT infrastructure in a synchronous and modern direction, satisfying the requirements of management, guidance, and operation in education and training management offices; and teaching and learning and scientific study.

7. Closely combining the enhancement of education and training quality with the intensification of scientific research. It is important to attract and encourage teaching staff, education managers, and military cadets to actively participate in scientific study so as to update their knowledge and modernize content and course books dedicated to teaching and learning and scientific research in specialized majors. Funds for scientific study, innovation, and modernization of models, teaching aids, and training management and control, especially in national and military key schools should be increased. There is a need to promote the audit of education and training quality and the disclosure of audit results. It is necessary to proactively renew testing and inspecting methods to ensure training quality; and develop graduation standards for detachment level officer cadets with university level qualifications and criteria used for assessing education and training programs, ensuring that graduates will be able to fulfill well the demands and tasks assigned to them.

Lieutenant General Pham Hong Huong,

Vice Chief of General Staff of Vietnam’s People’s Army

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