Professional Education Department
1. Context of TVET
Over the last decade, the Vietnamese Government has persisted in the policy of renovation of the economy. The Government is deeply aware of the importance of human resources development (HRD) and makes great efforts to develop education and training. The reform of TVET is one of those efforts. The efforts made to TVET sector can be seen in almost all aspects such as curriculum development, teacher retraining, partnership strengthening between business and training institution, establishing qualification frameworks, accreditation, management systems, and co-operation with international TVET institutions. Socializing TVET and making its courses more relevant to the labor market are important policies of the reform of education. Although TVET system in Vietnam has gained preliminary success for a couple of years, there has been a long way to go with many pitfalls. It may not be able to overcome obstacles and difficulties in a short while, as it will require time, resources and efforts.
Before 1987, TVET system in Vietnam was developed with over 200 technical vocational colleges and 125 vocational schools. For many years, TVET system has trained and supplied hundreds of thousands of workers and technicians for the economy, which was controlled and planned by the central Government. At that time, there was mismatch between supply and demand of the labor force. Consequently, since the country has moved into the market-oriented economy, the TVET has exposed deficiency of skilled workers in a wide range of industries. The “products” of TVET could not meet demands of the economy. Skills and knowledge of TVET graduates have not been relevant to the needs of the labor market. Besides that, most young people have been reluctant to choose TVET because of poor training programs, which cannot be furthered to higher qualifications in universities and because of other cultural reasons. Added to those problems is the scarcity of resources which has made TVET system more difficult. There was a dramatic decrease in the number of students during the period before 1990, while enrollments into the university remarkably increased, leading to imbalance in the structure of the labor force, disparity between training trades, and resulted in relative redundancy of laborers. This period could be the crises of TVET. Thanks to “Doi moi” policy, the economy has gained the growth of about 7 per cent annually and TVET has shared its vitality and developed.
Up to now, the TVET system includes over 300 colleges and schools which train technicians and workers in such sectors as agriculture, industry, health care, tourism, construction and transportation. There are a number of higher education institutions offering courses leading to diplomas and certificates. In almost provinces, there are centers for general technical education and vocational training that offer short-courses for high school students and vocational programs.
The scope and objective of the present TVET system of Vietnam can be summarized as follows:
· Short-term vocational training/re-training programs are for unemployed/-employed individuals to get specific vocational skills and a certificate.
· 1 to 3 years vocational training programs are for students who have graduated from lower or upper secondary education to lead towards a vocational certificate. Based upon duration and field of training, the students can be granted certificates of different levels of qualification from level one to level three. After finishing school, students can be employed to work as skilled workers.
· 2 to 3 year vocational & technical education. These programs combine general education subjects and specific occupational subjects to lead to a diploma. The graduate will be able to enroll for higher education degree.
There are several forms of TVET such as: formal, informal, continuous, in-service training with a various range of providers: public, semi-public and private (people-founded) institutions.
2. Organizational Administration of TVET
The TVET system is under state administration of MOET, MOLISA and other line ministries in the central level. In the local level, it is controlled by the local authorities - it is a quite complicated system.
As a result of the reform of TVET, the Prime Minister issued the Decision No. 67/1998/QD-TTg dated 26 March 1998, which transferred responsibility for vocational training from MOET to MOLISA. This Decision was followed closely by the Decree No.33/1998/ND-CP of the Government dated 23 May 1998 to establish the new General Department of Vocational Training. The responsibility for secondary technical and vocational education remains with MOET.
The Secondary Technical and Vocational Education Department (STVED) takes responsibilities in such areas as building up national policies on TVET, designing strategic plans for TVET, promulgating managerial regulations under its own authorities, planning of TVET institutions system, retraining TVET teachers, management of core curriculum of different specialities of training, development of national qualification frameworks related to TVET.
Besides, STVED also gives proposals or advices to the Minister of MOET in matters related to TVET system development.
In co-operation with other departments in MOET, STVED engages in activities such as permitting a certain new secondary technical school to be established or to shift to the status of a three-year college of TVET. A couple of years ago, there were over 90 per cent of high school graduates enrolling in secondary technical and vocational schools. In order to carry out the policy on public administration reform in MOET, STVED will be assigned more tasks and responsibilities. Therefore, the name of STVED may soon be renamed Technical and Vocational Education Department according to a new announcement from Personnel Department of MOET.
At the central level, there are Personnel and Training Departments, which run under administration of other line ministries and in charge of management and administration of TVET institutions. Such activities as planning, recruitment of staff, specialized occupational standards, retraining of teaching staff, making partnership with industry or foreign training institutions, promotion and so on are responsibilities of those ministries and general departments.
At the local level, there are professional offices under the administration of Provincial Departments of Education and Training (DOET), which are in charge of educational administration and management in provinces, or Municities. The professional office is assigned some tasks of technical and vocational education administration and management by MOET.
In terms of management, TVET Vietnam is mixed both State-based and school-based management according to the Educational Law.
3. Major Issues
- Demand from the labor market is not urgent for graduates from TVET institutions due to economic reasons and development policy. Consequently, TVET is usually looked down by society and it is often referred to as second choice;
- Many state bodies from central to local levels take charge of TVET management. This makes TVET management complicated, less effective and inflexible;
- Management people from policy-making and institutional levels often lack managerial skills and experiences of TVET.
- Most TVET institutions in provinces are established with small sizes from hundred to less than 1,000 students. These institutions are mainly specialized ones rather than those offering multi-specialized disciplines.
- Scarcity of sources, irrelevant curriculum and unqualified TVET teachers has exacerbated chronic problems.
The biggest challenges to TVET are to keep quality and effectiveness with many constraints while the enrollment of students in TVET should be increased quickly to meet needs of multi-skilled labor forces for the economic industrialization and modernization.
4. Key Policies and Strategies for Reform of TVET
The main objectives of TVET in Vietnam are to prepare for the country a labor force meeting needs of the labor market, to enable people for their contributions to sustainable social, economic and environment development, and to create equal opportunities for all and to make a cross-linkage between TVET and higher education.
In order to gain those objectives, Vietnam has made big efforts in formulating the policy on the reform of education. The reform has involved most stakeholders in the society and taken place in all areas of TVET.
4.1. Key Policies
- To restructure the TVET’s network and make it more relevant to needs of local and central industries as well as to a multi-sector and dynamic economy;
- To have a demand driven TVET system directed by labor market information and with multi-entry-exit points and with courses delivered flexibly;
- To have a system of TVET institutions which provide students from high school to postsecondary with technical and vocational programs;
- To improve quality, effectiveness, efficiency and size of TVET system;
- To mobilize sources from society for development of TVET and make the socialization of education and training qualitative, effective, attractive, realistic and sustainable;
- To have a decentralized system of TVET with more autonomy, responsibility and accountability assigned to local education and training authorities and institutions;
- To make a smooth transition from school to work;
- To facilitate lifelong learning for all.
4.2. Key Strategies
- Institutional system should be restructured in order to make TVET more effective and high quality. The following principles should be taken into account as planning for development of the system:
+ Effectiveness and efficiency need to be taken into account as changing the institutional structure;
+ Restructure of TVET system should link with economic and social development policy and strategies as well as regional co-operation;
+ Validity of management orders is respected;
+ Follow the policy of the public administration reform of the Government. Both management and administration in the system should run smoothly;
+ In the central and local level, changes in TVET institutional system structure should get credit from TVET institutions so that TVET system work well;
+ Outputs of TVET after changes of institutional structure need to be reflected in quality of graduates, creating more opportunities of employment, reduction of training cost, increase of young people enrolling into TVET and matriculating to higher education;
+ Every decision made for changes in TVET institutional structure should be supported from scientific research.
In the coming years, a feasibility study of local secondary technical and vocational schools integration into community colleges should be conducted. Wherever conditions are available for affiliation of these schools, a decision on that should be made.
- To deregulate and regulate properly in accordance with decentralization process. At the same time, STVED needs to review regulations promulgated and to revise or cancel as necessary.
- To train management in every layer of institutional hierarchy from macro to micro level so that managerial staffs are ready to be empowered as decentralization occurs;
- To improve quality and effectiveness of TVET system, the measures should be taken as below:
+ To check list and approve fields of training and put it in relevance to curriculum framework;
+ To renovate objectives, content and method of training towards needs of the industry;
+ To orient TVET in society to change the view of the people about TVET;
+ To improve quality of teaching and learning activities at some key colleges;
+ To incept and conduct the articulation courses among levels of training;
+ To mobilize resources of society for human resources development;
+ To develop and maintain the partnership between TVET institutions and business;
+ To strengthen and develop the international co-operation in TVET;
+ To cooperate closely with General Department of Vocational Training (MOLISA) and other institutes to monitor quality of graduates and then set up an accreditation body for TVET as well as coordinate other activities related to TVET;
+ To reduce costs of training based on a reasonable increase of the number of enrollments into schools and colleges;
+ To form partnership with enterprises to determine needs of industry and using production equipment more effective;
+ To establish the management information system and labor market information to improve planning for resources and training;
+ To fight against corruption in schools and colleges;
- To expand size of schools and colleges:
+ Streamlining students who complete junior secondary schools (year 9) into two pathways: senior secondary schools (high school) oriented academic education and secondary vocational schools oriented both academic education and occupational training, but the latter is more focused;
+ Reducing fee for student who study in TVET institutions;
+ Making articulation and credit transfer easy between qualifications levels, while keeping the training quality.
The globalization, the introduction of state-of-the-arts technology into the workplace and the reform of the national economy, require the labor force to have well-prepared skills, knowledge and attitudes. Vietnam TVET takes the responsibility for the development of human resources with high standards in almost all areas of the economy. Within such context, the policy of development on TVET in Vietnam is to take advantage of the opportunity and to limit disadvantages in order to improve the technical and vocational schools (colleges) network, TVET management and curriculum development as well as to work together with international organizations for TVET such as UNEVOC-UNESCO, SEAMEO VOCTECH and other non-government organizations.