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Education Ministry, publishing houses test new content on textbooks

Previously, publishing houses collaborated with authors to organize textbook 'experiments', but in the coming time, these will be carried out with the participation of the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET).

At a recent seminar on the implementation of the National Assembly’s Resolution 88 on reform of general education, many questions were raised to MOET about textbook content before putting them into use on a large scale.





Nguyen Xuan Thanh, director of MOET’s Secondary Education Department, said that Circular 33 stipulated that publishing houses proposing to appraise textbooks must give detailed explanation about the process.

The experiment consists of trying out new content, methods and new approaches to be sure that the program is feasible and can meet the requirements.

Publishers, when organizing the compilation of textbooks, have to satisfy the requirements of the program. With that spirit, textbooks must be examined to find if new content is suitable for students.

The lessons in textbooks must show the new methods, and the authors of textbooks have to try these out in localities to find out how their students are receiving knowledge through these lessons.

As for textbooks for sixth graders, which are under appraisal, at least over 10 percent of content in textbooks must be experimental, according to Thanh. The proportion could be up to 14-15 percent, or 20 percent, for some textbooks.

With such a method, MOET believes that the publishers' implementation will comply strictly with the principle. When publishers submit dossiers to the national appraisal board, the parameters will be checked first. If publishing houses cannot meet the requirements, the appraisal will end.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Huu Do said the compilation of textbooks is implemented with the participation of many different organizations and individuals. However, MOET wants to tighten control over the textbook experimental process.

“Previously, publishing houses and authors joined forces to try out textbooks. But in the coming time, the experiments will be carried out with the participation of MOET,” he said.

The ministry will also strengthen internal appraisal at publishers. Before the publishers send the samples to MOET, they will have to organize a preliminary appraisal.

The new general education program has been applied throughout the country. The amended Education Law ratified by the National Assembly in 2019 stipulates that there can be more than one set of textbooks for every subject. The compilation of textbooks will not use money from the state. 

Thuy Nga

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