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Friday, October 06, 2017, 10:20 (GMT+7)
VNU’s defence and security education for its students

Firmly grasping the Party’s line, over the past years, Vietnam National University, Hanoi (hereinafter VNU for short) has always attached much importance to the work of defense-security education for its students as one of the key components of education. While the VNU has employed a good few practical measures, it has placed emphasis on the key role of VNU Center for National Defense and Security Education (hereinafter Center), of which new headquarters has opened since May, 2015 in Hoa Lac. This facilitates the Center to provide defense-security education for students from the VNU’s member universities and 10 other universities, colleges and vocational schools under the Joint Circular 123/2015/TTLT-BQP-BGDĐT-BLĐTBXH dated November 5th, 2015 by the Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Education and Training, and Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs. Currently, the Center is expanding the scope and objects of defense-security education by means of “Defense-Security Education’s Week” for students from the VNU’s member universities and a number of high schools in Hanoi. However, as target students are plentiful and diverse, facilities are limited and the contingent of cadres and teachers have yet to be strengthened, the Center’s performance has been beset, to a greater or lesser degree.

A training course for students

In order to accomplish its assigned task, the whole Center thoroughly grasps directives and legal documents concerning defense-security education, especially Directive No.12-CT/TW, May 3rd, 2007 by the 10th  Politburo on “Enhancing the Party’s leadership over defense-security education in the new situation”, the Law on Defense-Security Education, and Decree 13/2014/NĐ-CP, dated February 25th, 2014 by the Prime Minister. This has enabled all of its staff to be fully aware of the importance attached to  and  their responsibility for the work of defense-security education.

The Center has focused on building the contingent of cadres and teachers quantitatively and qualitatively to meet the requirements of short and long-term tasks. In line with its development strategy up to 2020 with a vision till 2030, the Center has concentrated on consolidating the organizational structure, from the directorate to affiliated divisions and functional departments, with emphasis placed on the contingent of teachers. Amidst overmany students and quantitatively, qualitatively insufficient tearchers and cadres, the Center has formulated the plan for new recruits with priority assigned to graduates majoring in defense-security education and awarded Degrees with Credit or Distinction. Moreover, it has actively invited  a number of veteran retirees with a high level of professional competence as visiting teachers while cooperating with the 1st Army College and the Political Academy in running several appropriate courses.

The Center has accelerated the work of personnel planning and high-quality training for the contingent of cadres and teachers so that their professional competence and teaching methods can be standardized to meet demanding requirements of defense-security education. Despite its uphill tasks and enormous workload, over the past years, the Center has managed to maintain a proper balance of its staff to send cadres and teachers with strong morals, great competence and a profound sense of responsibility to post-graduate education. Every year, a number of its cadres and teachers are sent to take training workshops organized by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), who later update the rest of colleagues on defense and  security. The Center encourages its cadres and teachers in self-improvement and mutual learning while directing its departments to assign veteran teachers to support entrants. Contests for outstanding cadres and teachers are regularly held, thereby promoting their competence. Additionally, the Center has cooperated with VNU’s faculties in honing its cadres and teachers’ skills in pedagogy, information technology and foreign languages. Currently, 100% of the Center’s cadres and teachers are university graduates and post-graduates.

At the same time, the Center has accelerated reforms in curricula and teaching methods. Grounded in the MoET’s defense-security education framework, the Center, VNU’s member universities and partners have reached consensus on duration, syllabi and curricula that match students’ majors. When it comes to the topics of Party’s lines and policies, State’s laws, and hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution”, the Center has assigned teachers with comprehensive theoretical understanding and professional competence to deliver lectures, thereby affording students deeper insight. The Center has frequently updated its students on Vietnam’s military tasks so that they do not fall behind. For the purpose of high-school students’ full development, ranging from knowledge, skills to life attitudes, curricula are designed to match students of different age ranges while military training combines well with extra-curricular activities and soft skills such as first aid, prevention of school violence, self-awareness, starting a business, and so on.

As defense-security education is a subject of particularity, the Center has actively reformed teaching methods for the sake of students’ improved performance. Accordingly, its cadres and teachers are requested to actively apply information technology and to use audio-visual aids in their lectures in order to vividly illustrate and simulate military situations. Importance is attached to learner-centred teaching; students’ self-study is encouraged. Regarding military training, 3 steps are followed, namely snap simulations, slow simulations with explanations and snap simulations with explanations so that students can gain the basic thrust for practice. For students’ improved performance, the Center has created a learning environment with both strict discipline and openness. It is always receptive to students’ feedback, thereby opportunely fine-tuning syllabi and teaching methods.

In parallel with teaching, the Center has paid close attention to management and discipline. At the beginning of courses, the Center popularizes its regulations for students while the latter are organized into companies and platoons for the sake of convenience. Students as newcomers to the Center, always receive wholehearted support and encouragement. Although students’ duration of courses varies,  discipline is well-maintained, thereby enabling students to gain hands-on experience  and to mature in the military environment.  The Center is buzz with emulation activities and extra-curricular activities whereby students’ material and spiritual life is guaranteed. A case in point is that to mark the 70th  anniversary of War Invalids and Martyrs’ Day (27-7-1947 / 27-7-2017), the Center cooperated with a number of functional organs and enterprises in organizing symposiums,  offering incense at martyrs’ cemeteries, presenting gifts to beneficiaries of preferential policies, and so on. This contributes to promoting patriotism, national pride and national traditions of  “Remembering the source while drinking water” and “Repaying gratitude” among students while boosting their self-awareness in the process of studying and training at the Center.

The Center has also taken proper care of learning and teaching facilities, ranging from lecture halls, dormitories, coursebooks to military equipment, coursebooks, and training grounds. It is accelerating the construction of the e-library and upgrade of specialized classsrooms and computer labs in accordance with the MoET’s regulations for the purpose of cadres and teachers’ teaching and scientific research as well as students’ study. Meal preparations have always undergone careful inspection and supervision so as to guarantee food safety while closely cooperating with relevant agencies to effect the safe handover and transport of students.

Since its inception in 2004, the Center has afforded good-quality defense-security education to more than 120,000 university students and over 10,000 high school students. The majority of graduates from the Center have developed their awareness of military tasks and discipline, a sense of responsibility, life skills and readiness for Homeland protection. Currently, the Center has become a powerhouse of defense-security education in and around Hanoi.

TRAN DANH LUC, Director of VNU Center for National Defense and Security Education

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