The Government has not made any plans to reform Vietnamese language teaching in the coming years, said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam at the meeting of National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Wednesday.
Dam made the statement while responding to the question of NA Judicial Committee Chairwoman Le Thi Nga over recent controversial debates on education, especially the pilot method to reform Vietnamese language teaching.
Regarding the so-called educational technology curriculum that teaches Vietnamese language for first grade students, Dam said the Ministry of Education and Training has affirmed that using round, square and triangle shapes aims to teach kids pronunciation, not to reform teaching altogether.
NA deputies agreed that as education imposes profound and long-term impacts on society, policy-related changes need careful consideration.
The deputies proposed the Government submit new educational policies to the NA Standing Committee before final decisions are reached.
Waste from textbooks
As part of discussions on the draft Law on Education, Nguyen Thanh Hai, chairwoman of the NA Ombudsman Committee, proposed looking carefully into the regulation which allows a subject to have different sets of textbooks.
According to the draft law, educational facilities have the right to select textbooks which suit their teaching.
This may lead to negative results, said NA Deputy Chairman Phung Quoc Hien, adding there should be only one set of textbooks used nationwide.
Hai also mentioned waste in using textbooks, which attracts concern of citizens.
“In the 2018-19 school year, the Education Publishing House printed 100 million copies of textbooks. These books will not be reused next school year. The exercises are filled in and the books can not be recycled. Each year parents spend an average VND1 trillion (US$43.5 million) to buy textbooks.”
A new point proposed in the amended draft Law on Education is free tuition for five-year-old children taking kindergarten classes and public secondary school students, and assisting tuition for students at private schools. The policy has been approved by the Government.
The NA Standing Committee is in favour of the change and asked for a clear plan to implement the policy.
The draft law also proposed lifting nursery school and kindergarten teacher qualification standards from intermediate school graduation to college.
More than 33 per cent of nursery school and kindergarten teachers are not college graduates, according to Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha.
The total training expense to improve their capacity is about VND857.2 billion for a five-year period, he said.
Phan Thanh Binh, Chairman of the NA Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children, the agency in charge of examining the draft law, said teacher qualification standardisation needs to focus on training teachers to fit their working position and capacity-improving training methods.
The NA Standing Committee also agreed with amendments related to university autonomy made in the Law on Higher Education.
The amendments clarify conditions of autonomy and specify accountability and requirements for higher education facilities.
According to the committee, autonomy enforcement should be transparent.