Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Minister admits foreign language scheme ineffective

The Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha admitted that the government had failed to meet the goals of the National Foreign Languagescheme for the 2008-2020 period.
Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha
Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha
The prime minister issued Resolution 1400 about foreign language teaching and learning for higher education back in 2008. All university and collegestudents that do not specialise in English must have an equivalent B1 level qualification in in the common European framework of reference for languages skills.
From 2013-1015, each university will have one teacher study abroad each year. MoET will also help to set up high-standard foreign language centres, first at Thai Nguyen University, University of Languages and International Studies in Hanoi, Hue, Danang and HCMC University of Education, in order to improve the teacher skills. Teachers lacking language skills will need further studies.
On November 16, when NA deputy Duong Minh Anh from Hanoi questioned the minister of education about the effectiveness of the scheme, which has already cost VND5 trillion (USD223m) out of its VND9.4 trillion budget in 2015, Nha said it was not effective.
“I can tell you now, no,” Nha said. “Teaching and learning foreign language is a long-term, big issue. It needs a huge budget and time. We tried to develop the best plan but encountered difficulties with time, budget and preparation.”
Nha said he and the ministry would take responsibility. He went on to say they were reviewing the scheme and would make some changes. The first training courses must be planned with aims to globalise, not based on teachers’ ability. The quality of teachers must be improved and teaching methods must also be adjusted to actually be useful in everyday life rather than just as an academic qualification.
Claiming Malaysia and Singapore used 38 years to improve the nation’s English fluency, Nha promised that the ministry would adjust the scheme so that the budget and other resources wouldn’t go to waste.
The quality of teachers working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs will also be improved gradually. However, Nha said works would take time and they must be flexible enough to prevent certificate selling.


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