This is the first year of the new general education program at the high school level, for 10th graders. Students will not have 17 mandatory subjects. Instead, they will have eight compulsory subjects and education activities, including literature, mathematics, foreign language 1, history, physical education, national defense and security education, career advice, lessons about localities. 

In addition, students will have four optional subjects out of nine subjects, including geography, education in economics and laws, physics, chemistry, biology, technology, informatics, music and the arts.

With the new curricula, studying through playing will be organized more by schools during curricular hours. Unlike traditional teaching methods, under which teachers give lessons while students listen and take notes, the new method puts students at the center, while teachers act as mentors and students take the initiative in receiving knowledge.

This is the third year of the new general education program, but the lack of schools, classrooms and teachers still exists in many localities, which makes implementation difficult.

The two biggest problems are the lack of teachers for new subjects and for integrated subjects.

Several months before the new academic year began, a number of localities voiced concern about the teacher shortage for informatics and foreign languages (beginning this year, third graders began learning foreign languages and 10th graders began learning arts and music as compulsory subjects).

According to the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), new subjects alone will lack 26,228 teachers by the 2025-2026 term.

2022-2023 is also the second year of teaching integrated subjects. However, when the 2021-2022 academic year ended, Vietnam only had several hundred pedagogy university graduates, a very small figure compared with thousands of secondary schools.

Teachers at schools are trained to teach a single subject and find it difficult to give integrated knowledge of several subjects. Localities have hurried to organize training courses to solve the problem, but the results have been modest.

Nguyen Huu Do, Deputy Minister of Education and Training, said integrated subjects are a clear difference in the new education program, requiring more effort from teachers. 

Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son said the new program poses a challenge to teachers.

In the immediate future, the education sector will have to continue to deal with the work related to the new general education program, including appraisal of textbooks for fourth, eighth, and 11th graders, and preparation for the compilation of textbooks for fifth, ninth and 12th graders.

Ngan Anh