Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son: innovation is not easy

Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son said 2023 continues to be a year full of challenges for the sector with numerous key tasks, such as innovating education. Son made the remark while granting an interview to the press on the occasion of the New Year.

Hanoi (VNA) – On the occasion of the Year of the Cat, Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son shared the sector’s achievements over the past year as well as the tasks and challenges ahead in 2023.

1. Year of challenges and changes

- Minister, 2022 has officially ended. Looking back over the past year, in your point of view, what are the major and outstanding problems of the education and traning sector?

Minister Nguyen Kim Son: For the education sector, the year 2022 can be briefly summarized in the following keywords: Challenges - Efforts - Positive results. Challenges are problems arising in the fundamental reform of education and training. Along with the innovation, numerous tasks were implemented for general education and higher education during the year.

For general education, innovation is carried out at a very rapid pace. In the same year, changes in textbooks, teaching and learning for many grades and rolling out at all three levels. With this timeline, to accomplish great things with great expectations, it can be said that this is a challenge for teachers, administrators and the whole industry. In addition, difficult things were implemented in the context of COVID-19 pandemic - the transition from online to on-site teaching and learning and entering a new normal.

Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son: innovation is not easy ảnh 1The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the shortage of preschool teachers in the education sector as a series of private preschools had to close. In addition, there is a need for teachers for the new general education program. (Photo: Hoang Hieu/Vietnam+)

Facing internal challenges as well as external influences, the whole industry, from administrators to teachers, have still shown outstanding results. It is important to recognized the more than one million teachers who have worked hard in the past year to achieve very encouraging results. Those encouraging results meant that plans were completed toward skills development of teachers and students.

The education sector celebrated the 40th anniversary of Vietnam Teachers' Day in 2022. We celebrated the day with a thrifty, simple spirit, having a positive effect on society, and the appreciation of leaders of the Party, State and Government. This is also an opportunity for society to recognize and support the teaching profession.

2. In 2023: Continue innovation and explaining missions

- The year 2023 has come, can you share with us the major tasks that the education sector will implement in the new year?

Minister Nguyen Kim Son: 2023 is an important year in the implementation of the new General Education Programme, or in other words, this is a "swing year ". Currently, there are 6 grades being taught with the new curriculum and textbook replacement, the remaining grades will be implemented in 2023 and the following years following the set schedule.

This year will focus on a lot of work for the entire education sector, typically the appraisal of textbooks for grades 4, 8, 11. During the year, textbooks for grades 5, 9, 12 will also be compiled and appraised. So the amount of work left for 2023 is huge.

Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son: innovation is not easy ảnh 2A class at Pham Tu Primary School, Thanh Tri district, Hanoi (Photo: Pham Mai/Vietnam+)

We must continue to solve difficulties and challenges that may occur in the implementation process, such as: Teach new subjects in the programme; find all solutions to overcome the shortage of teachers; lack of facilities; lack of conditions for implementation. These are huge and difficult things, big challenges for the education sector.

Also in 2023, the education sector will explain our work to the Party, people and National Assembly. We will need to assess 10 years of implementing educational and training reform in the spirit of Resolution 29, what has been done, what still needs to be implemented.

We will also report on our accountability to the National Assembly's supervisory delegation in the implementation of Resolution 88 and Resolution 51. This is an opportunity for the sector to look back on the work that has been done, is being done and what needs to be adjusted in the following years to continue the spirit of educational innovation that the Party, National Assembly and Government have assigned to the sector.

This year we have to complete the compilation of the new preschool curriculum. The process of compiling, appraising, approving and implementing this programme will take place in the whole year of 2023.

For higher education, we have to complete the huge task of planning the network of universities, key pedagogical universities, and specialized schools throughout the country. During the process, we need to review the system of universities across the country to promote their potential as well as implement higher education development strategies.

On the other hand, developing and building a contingent of teachers is also an urgent task, including the development of educators of sufficient quantity, with good quality and serving the needs of the reform of both general education and higher education. We expect that in 2023, the draft Law on Teachers will be submitted to the competent authorities for appraisal and submission to the National Assembly. This is an important legal document, which serves as a basis for building and developing a contingent of teachers in the coming time.

Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son: innovation is not easy ảnh 3Photo: Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son inspects the high school graduation exam. (Photo: Vietnam+)

Other jobs, which are also considered as important solutions to promote the development of the sector, will continue to be carried out during the year. They include the promotion of digital transformation, and building a large database, among others.

A regular but also very important thing to do during the year is to organise the national high school graduation exam. This is a nationwide exam that requires us to focus on directing and preparing for.

Along with that, there are many other regular things we still have to do. For example, to date the pandemic is under control, but its effects is not something that can be solved in only a year, but it takes more time to recover.

In addition, other tasks, programmes and projects assigned by the Government will also be implemented in the coming time, including school culture, school safety, drowning prevention, and food safety and sanitation.

3. In need of accompanion from the entire social

- With so many tasks as mentioned above, according to you, what are the challenges for the sector to to overcome, so as to meet the expectations of the people?

Minister Nguyen Kim Son: There are many challenges, but one of the biggest one is the successful implementation of the five pillars of the fundamental and comprehensive educational reform process, namely the effective and on-schedule implementation of the new general education programme. To carry out the renovation successfully, it requires a lot of resources, in which financial resource plays a very important role. This resource helps localities prepare facilities, including schools, classrooms, equipment for classroom practice, and learning tools.

We face a lot of difficulties if localities do not focus their resources on the implementation of the new general education programme. We are considering these challenges and have made recommendations to ministries and sectors and coordinate with localities to handle them well.

In addition, such issues as having a staff of teachers qualified for innovation, especially those in charge of new subjects in the programme, are also considered challenges in the innovation process.

However, we believe that with close coordination among ministries and sectors, along with the Government's direction, and the responsible involvement of localities, these difficulties and challenges can be resolved soon.

- A new year with many tasks and challenges has come. On the occassion of the new spring, what message do you want to deliver to the education sector, millions of officers, teachers and tens of millions of students and parents across the country?

Minister Nguyen Kim Son: It can be said that at this moment, the education and training industry is in the process of renewal, or in other words, transformation. There are many new things being deployed in the sector. The transition process always creates disturbances. There are always those who can accept new things immediately. However, there are also people, and regions that need time to get used to, and there are also people who have negative reactions to this innovation process.

This is a big task assigned by the Party, National Assembly and Government to the education sector, so I hope that the whole society as well as parents will share and accompany teachers, administrators, the sector to accomplish innovation tasks together. Without the support, involvement, and companionship of parents, this innovation is unlikely to succeed.

In addition, it is expected that localities will continue to pay more attention to the implementation of their local tasks according to their responsibilities as well as to join hands with the education sector to prepare for the implementation of the education mission.

I hope that all teachers are aware of the honour, responsibility, and challenge of the innovation career to work together more closely. No product of innovation can come about easily. To achieve great success, we must overcome many great challenges. But if the great tasks assigned by the Party, State and Government are completed, the education sector will achieve lasting results for the country. I hope that all teachers with creativity and high professional responsibility will work together to complete their tasks well.

As for all students, I hope that all of you will also embrace the innovative spirit of the education sector. Together we strive to embrace the best of educational innovation. Teachers need to do their job well, so do the students. Thereby, we will get the best quality of education with the beneficiaries are none other than the students.

On the occastion of the new year, I hope that people will share the burden with the education sector so that we can overcome great challenges and complete the assigned tasks.

I also hope that all journalists and information communication workers will continue to spread the spirit of innovation to the people, sharing the difficulties and challenges of the sector. Because in the renovation process, media, information and press people have a very important supporting role.

- Thank you very much, Mr. Minister!


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