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Time ripe to modernise technical education: expert

Viet Nam News, HCM City, 10 December 2016 - The environment in the country is “good” for the modernisation of technical and professional training, a project director of the Vietnamese Skills for Employment Programme (VSEP) has said.

Assoc Prof Lê Quang Minh said the Government has enabled such an environment by focusing on improving human resources through a vocational training development strategy for 2011-20 and enacting a law on vocational education last July.

Under the three-year VSEP, which started in 2014, assistance from the Canadian Government and universities is also helping Vietnamese colleges improve students’ skills, he said.

The VSEP has two components -- building two training centres for advanced management in HCM City and Hà Nội, and developing a sample model of technical vocational education and training programmes at three community colleges in the provinces of Bình Thuận, Hậu Giang and Vĩnh Long.

Minh said the country’s technical and professional training system is on the right path to develop and integrate globally though the development is slow. Moreover, changes in the policy and regulatory environment from next year would require a transition period that college leaders need to manage.

He said from next year the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs would take over management of the technical and professional training system from the Ministry of Education and Training. 

Those colleges that survive and thrive would be the ones that understand the larger picture of educational changes in the country and around the world and develop strategies to manage the transition to a modern model, he said.

The modern training system world-wide is characterised by an ability to respond to labour market demands and provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to get and keep a job and to succeed at work and in life, he said.

Colleges in the country should learn from Canada, he said. For instance, they should co-operate with universities for easy transfer of students.

Dr Daniel J. Patterson, president of Niagara College in Ontario Province, Canada, said in 1995 overall enrolment at his was down to just 4,700 full-time students.

He blamed it on a failure to modernise its syllabus and training methods and meet the demands of industry.

But things were turned around, and it now has over 9,000 full-time students, including 1,200 international ones, he said.

Training programmes and services are linked to key economic sectors and are strengthened by strong industry-education partnerships, he said.

Moreover, there has been a major shift in Government policy and resources allocated to support colleges in Canada in recognition of the important role they play in supplying the advanced skills and applied research that underpin economic growth and productivity improvement, he added. —VNS


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