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Vietnam needs to re-organize the education ministry?

The proposal by the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MIA) to re-organize the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has raised controversy.

Le Anh Tuan, deputy director of the Institute on State Organizational Sciences (INSOS), said in many other countries, the numbersm of ministries is less than 20, though their economies and the populations are bigger than Vietnam.

 

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Tuan, at the workshop to collect opinions about the government’s structure in 2021-2026, suggested re-organizing MOET by transferring the task of training to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) and rename MST into the Ministry of Science, Technology and Training (MSTT).

He also suggests that the vocational training management should be assigned to MSTT instead of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalid and Social Affairs (MOLISA) as seen currently.

Universities are places which gather the elite of the society, so they have to carry out research. However, the ‘spirit’ of the schools must be the teaching. It is research institutes which need restructuring, because scientific research is their task.

The suggestion has been lauded by some experts. Tran Hong Quan, former Minister of Education and Training, thinks that the idea is suitable to the 4.0 era. In the new circumstances of the next-generation industrial revolution, science and tertiary education should be associated.


He said in modern times, universities not only have the tasks of training and producing bachelor’s degree holders, but also carrying out scientific research and applying research results in life.

Meanwhile, some other experts agree on the opinion that it is necessary to transfer the division of training to MST. The move, if it is taken, will help schools develop their scientific research.

In 1990, the government decided to establish MOET by merging the then Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Tertiary, Professional and Vocational Education. This aimed to uniformly control the national education system, from preschool to post-university education.

It is now necessary to split the general education and training divisions, and if this is done, Vietnam would produce more scientific research.

Nguyen Vinh Hien, former Deputy Minister of Education and Training, also advocates the idea, commenting that universities have a high numbers of scientists, but they are still weak at scientific research. Therefore, the merger is reasonable.

Meanwhile, Do Van Xe, Rector of the Hung Vuong University, disagrees with the opinion.

“We assume that the university's mission is to do scientific research, but in fact, the core value is training and producing bachelor’s and master’s degree holders and PhDs,” he said.

Universities are places which gather the elite of the society, so they have to carry out research. However, the ‘spirit’ of the schools must be the teaching. It is research institutes which need restructuring, because scientific research is their task.

“Only when half of universities turn into research universities, should we think of transferring the training division to MST,” Xe said. 

Le Huyen

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