US$16 million loan allocated for textbook compilation
Sixteen million dollars has been allocated to the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) to compile a set of textbooks for the new general education program. However, the allocation has not been done.
Under the National Assembly Resolution No 88 on renovating curricula and textbooks for general education, many different textbooks will be compiled by different authors, and MOET will also compile one set of textbooks.
Of the $77 million ODA loan from the World Bank, $16 million was budgeted for MOET’s compilation of textbooks. However, MOET in May stated that it could not do this because there were not enough candidates for compilers.
Nguyen Xuan Thanh, deputy director of the MOET’s Secondary Education Department, explained that the National Assembly wanted MOET to compile textbooks to ensure that there will be sufficient textbooks for all grades and all learning subjects.
The government later allowed MOET not to compile textbooks and to privatize the compilation. There are now enough textbooks for all grades and learning subjects, and there are many choices in textbooks for schools.
|The government later allowed MOET not to compile textbooks and to privatize the compilation. There are now enough textbooks for all grades and learning subjects, and there are many choices in textbooks for schools.|
Thanh stressed that though textbooks are compiled by different authors, all of them must undergo inspection by MOET. This means that MOET is responsible for all the textbooks used for general schools.
Since MOET did not compile textbooks as initially planned, a question has been raised about where the $16 million allocated to MOET has gone.
Hoang Ngoc Vinh, former director of the Department of Professional Education, said MOET needs to show how it has spent the money.
“Those who are interested in education want to know what this $16 million loan has been used for. The use of money in a transparent and right way will bring real benefits to the renovation of the curriculum and textbooks, and help reassure the public,” he commented.
Asked how MOET has used the money, Thanh said a part of the amount has been used for document preparation and training for textbook appraisers under the agreement of the World Bank.
According to Thanh, the documents will be used for textbook compilers so they can understand the criteria required and can compile textbooks in the best way.
Another part of the money will be used to restructure the project and for other projects and activities. However, all the projects and activities will serve the renovation of the general education program.
The public also questioned the textbook appraisal done by MOET. The ministry affirmed that the members of appraisal committees are experienced experts and general school teachers.
Twenty-four out of 32 textbooks chosen by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) belong to the Education Publishing House.
Principals of universities will establish a council to choose or compose particular textbooks to use in their own educational institutes.