Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has stressed the need to renovate exams and education management at a February 13 conference held by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoIT).

The event, which took place in Hanoi , aims to review the outcomes of the first semester and outline tasks for the second. It also evaluated education universalisation and discussed examinations in 2014.

Hailing efforts made by the education sector over the past time, the Deputy PM said the sector has sought ways to extract its advantages and promptly handle weaknesses.

It is necessary to mobilise social resources to make pre-school education for five-year-old children universal, he said, noting the building of schools at industrial zones for workers’ children.

The leader asked the ministry to scientifically conduct graduation exams at secondary schools this year with students’ interests put at the top.

“Any change should be announced ahead of the school year so that students have time to make preparations,” Deputy PM Dam said.

Apart from equipping students with fundamental knowledge, secondary schools have also provided them with vocational orientations, he said, therefore, the renovation of the graduation exam and university entrance exam should be carried out at the same time.

According to the MoIT, due attention has been paid to pre-school universalisation for five-year-old children while effective teaching methods have been duplicated.

The network of nursery schools has been expanded to most residential areas, the ministry said, adding that localities have also zoned land for more schools.

High on the agenda at the conference were changes to the secondary school graduation exam in 2014 and the years to come.

Many agreed that decreasing the number of subjects for the graduation exam in 2014 from six to four will help ease pressure on students as well as their parents.

Director of the Quang Binh provincial Department of Education and Training Doan Duc Liem suggested the MoIT set out appropriate criteria for students who are exempt from the university entrance exam in order to ensure equality between schools and localities.

Some said that foreign languages should be a compulsory or optional subject in order to encourage students to pay attention to this subject.-VNA