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Improvement of the quality of training for leaders and managers of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

(PTOJ) - Training leaders and managers is the essential function and task of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics. Over the years, this work has undergone many innovations, constantly improving its quality, making an essential contribution to building the contingent of qualified and capable cadres of the political system to meet the requirements of tasks in the new era. However, this work still needs to continue to innovate in the future.

The Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics - Source: hcma.vn

1. Results of the task of training and updating knowledge for leaders and managers of the political system

Implementing the Regulation No. 164-QD/TW dated February 1st, 2013, of the Politburo on the regime of training and updating knowledge for leaders and managers at all levels, in recent years, the Academy has coordinated with the Central Organization Committee, the Central Propaganda Department, the Central Theoretical Council, and relevant agencies, to open training courses to update knowledge for subjects 1, 2 and 3. Every year, the Academy cooperates with the Central Party Committees to open training courses by title: manager, deputy manager of the party committee of provinces, cities, and equivalent in departments, ministries, and branches; secretary, deputy secretary of the district-level of Party Committee and the equivalent. Each class has from 50 to 90 comrades.

The program content is constantly renewed and updated based on the needs of each leadership title and proposed agencies and units, based on advice from specialized institutes at the Academy. The training courses are conducted over one week (5 days), with nine topics and listening to reality reports in localities.

In addition to the classes assigned by the Central Committee every year, the provincial Party Committees, province committees, city committees, ministries, and branches have cooperated with the Academy to open dozens of training courses for subjects under the management of the standing committee of the provincial Party Committee (subject 3) and classes for district officials (subject 4).

Scale and number of students trained at the Academy. In the years 2014-2019, the Academy opens 10 training courses for titles, regional Political Academies open dozens of classes for subjects at district and equivalent levels each year. In 2020, despite the complicated Covid-19 pandemic, the number of training courses at the Academy Center and the affiliated Academies had been maintained and increased significantly.

Content, teaching and learning methods, and classroom organization are constantly being innovated according to the learner-centered approach, teachers as the motivation, inspiration, and leading to organized activities in the class and self-study. This approach is concretized into each lesson content. The content is renewed, and the quality is improved in the direction close to the training goal, with the needs and position of each student. At the same time, to minimize the duplication of content within the same program and between training programs.

The lecturers who have been invited to lecture for the training courses are professors, associate professors, doctors, scientists with professional qualifications, theorists, and some experienced leaders in units of the Academy, Central Organization Department, Central Inspection Committee, Central Propaganda Department, Central Committee for Mass Mobilization, Central Theoretical Council and several ministries, branches, provinces and cities directly under the Central Government. 

The lecture program is compiled to take the formation of students’ creative abilities as the primary goal. Practical hours of class systems are increasing, linking theory with practice. As a result, the quality of staff training courses is increasingly improved.

The Academy has increased the application of information technology in the management of training activities, implementation of assignments, decentralization, and decentralization in management. This contributes to improving the efficiency and quality of training.

The Academy strengthens close coordination with relevant agencies, such as the Central Organizing Committee, the Central Inspection Commission, the Central Committee for Mass Mobilization, and the Central Committee for Communication and Education in implementing the program’s studying content, welcoming students, assigning lecturers and appointing staff to coordinate with the Academy in classroom management during the study and practical research in the locality. At the same time, make sure to proactively arrange conditions for learning facilities, accommodation, and travel so that the class can be implemented on the proper schedule and achieve the best results.

The coordination between the specialized agencies of the Academy has also been strengthened: Between the Training Management Department and specialized institutes, especially with the Academy Office in organizing classes, accommodation, activities, and regimes students... make an essential contribution to improving the quality of training.

With the effort to comprehensively innovate, increase efficiency, and train and update knowledge for leaders and managers of the political system at the Academy, step by step, ensure the achievement of goals and tasks to meet the requirements of national construction and defense in the new situation.

The training of cadres has contributed to building the team of leaders and managers who firmly grasp the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, the Party’s Platform, guidelines, and State policies in all fields; having a firm ideological stance, steadfast in socialist goals, having enough courage, vision and strategic thinking; master leadership and management skills; raise the level and capacity to solve practical problems, contribute to the cause of national construction and defense and international integration.

In addition to the achieved results, the training and updating of knowledge for leaders and managers of the political system have some limitations:

- Some topics have not been updated in time. The content of the class program is still leaned on theory; not many practical summaries have been put into teaching; the content of training leadership and management skills has not been paid due attention; has not spent adequate time on the survey and actual research activities; the training content is not close to the reality of leadership and management of groups of titles and characteristics of each region, areas, provinces as well as fields of work; have not effectively applied the research results, theoretical and practical summaries of 35 years of innovation, practice and movement trends of the world in the training content in the form of problem-solving exercises, related to the practical system, or thematic introduction.

- Mechanism of interaction between the teachers and the learners, especially attracting the participation of students, to exploit the practical experiences in leadership and management of learners into the program making process; the preparation of lectures is not flexible.

- The program has paid attention to updating new knowledge, but not much. In addition, not enough attention has been paid to the training of students’ problem-solving skills in their work. They are not giving enough time for students to penetrate reality and practice their ability to grasp and solve urgent problems raised from practice.

Although interested in expanding, the training scale has not fully and promptly met the actual needs of central departments, ministries, branches, provinces, cities, and localities throughout the country.

- The lecturers - the most critical force determining the quality of training for leaders and managers, although not lacking in quantity, has not met the requirements of improving quality. Many lecturers lack practical leadership and management experience in various fields of socio-economic life, which has affected the quality of lectures. In addition, the training by title requires topics to update new knowledge to suit each group of learners constantly, requires the lecturers to spend time researching and updating, while it is also difficult for part-time visiting lecturers to spend adequate time in preparing lectures, thus affecting the quality of lectures. This is also because current, urgent, and contemporary issues have not been fully researched and considered a regular task of the permanent faculty department.

- The current teaching methods and methods of organizing the training of leaders and managers have generally not been able to keep up with the revolutionary development trend in science-technology and modern educational science.

The teaching and learning process has not yet escaped from the traditional teaching and learning method. The Academy has actively improved and innovated teaching and learning methods in recent years and has made particular progress. However, the assessment, summarization, and lessons learned after finishing the training courses for leaders and managers have not been carried out synchronously and regularly. Therefore, there has not been a timely and complete adjustment of the inadequacies in training content and methods to suit the objective requirements of leadership and management, especially new requirements in the current period.

- The mechanism for coordination between the Academy and the Central Organization Department, the Central Committee for Mass Mobilization, the Central Propaganda Department, the Central Inspection Committee, and city and provincial Party committees have not yet been established to maintain and update knowledge for leaders and managers. Therefore, the work of enrollment, opening classes, and preparing conditions and facilities to ensure students’ learning process is still passive and confusing, causing difficulties for students and governing bodies; restricting the management of trainees, and inviting leaders and managers (with practical experience) as visiting lecturers.

- The teaching management of lecturers has mainly achieved the requirements of controlling the implementation of the plan and the teaching schedule agreed upon between the training and retraining management agency and the teaching unit. The requirement to control lectures’ content and quality is still a huge difficulty and challenge for training and retraining management agencies. Moreover, implementing the plan, schedule, and the replacement of lecturers and lectures in unexpected cases still do not have specific regulations to bind the responsibility of individuals and teaching units...

3. Solutions to improve the quality of training for leaders and managers

The problem is how to improve the quality of training and meet the growing demand and increasing requirements for training leaders and managers in the coming time. In order to solve the posed problems and improve the quality and effectiveness of staff training at the Academy, it is necessary to implement the following solutions:

Firstly, thoroughly grasp the Party’s viewpoint on training and training leaders and managers of the political system.

Training the contingent of leaders and managers at all levels, first of all, to thoroughly grasp the Marxist - Leninist viewpoints, Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, the Party’s guidelines, and the State’s policies and laws, thoroughly applying in accordance with the reality of the country, localities, and units to effectively implement the innovation policy, promote industrialization and modernization of the country and international integration.

Training officials need to be associated with planning, clearly distinguishing between basic training and retraining, regularly training knowledge and skills, updating knowledge by title, and shortening the training time, but they should be closely aligned with the needs of the learners.

Comprehensively and strongly renovating the work of training and updating knowledge with focus, attention, and ensuring systematicity. Improving the quality of training based on innovation in curricula, textbooks, teaching and learning content and methods; improving the quality of the teaching staff; promoting scientific research, summarizing practice, linking scientific research with teaching; improving facilities and funding.

In the context of complicated developments, hostile forces, reactionary elements, and political opportunities have increased their activities of distorting and opposing the Party’s ideological foundation with increasingly malicious plots and tactics. In an increasingly sophisticated phase, on October 22nd, 2018, the Politburo issued Resolution No. 35-NQ/TW on Strengthening the protection of the Party’s ideological foundation, fighting against false and hostile views in the new situation. The Resolution aims to strengthen and firmly protect the ideological foundation of the Party, consolidate and strengthen scientific belief in Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology; maintain solidarity and unity within the Party, social consensus and people’s belief in the Party; prevent and reverse the deterioration of political ideology, morality, lifestyle, and internal “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” expressions; defeat all plots, tricks and anti-destructive activities of hostile and reactionary forces in the new situation... The training of cadres needs to include the content of the struggle to protect the ideological foundation of the Party in each lecture, contributing to the consolidation of beliefs and revolutionary ideals for leaders and managers; contributing to the protection of the ideological foundation of the Party, fighting against wrongful and hostile views in the new situation.

Secondly, raising awareness about the training of leaders and managers. Officers are the root of all work; Cadres training is the original work of the Party, and cadres must be regularly retrained. Training is an objective requirement, which is the condition for cadres to fulfill their assigned responsibilities and tasks well; it is the responsibility of party committees at all levels, agencies managing and employing cadres, and cadres themselves and must be carried out regularly. Therefore, all levels of party committees, cadre management agencies, training institutions, and cadres themselves must have a deep awareness of the role and importance of cadre training to help cadres to be constantly innovative in thinking, dynamic, creative, updated with experience and new knowledge, adapt quickly, and respond well to task requirements. Training must become regime and benefits based on self-consciousness for each cadre.

Thirdly, perfecting and renovating the program and system of lectures and topics in training knowledge in the direction of updating and training skills to meet the requirements of practice, ensuring the principle of combining theory and practice, helping students solve urgent problems in the practice of national construction and development. Strengthening capacity building for the Academy system’s research, teaching, and management staff are commensurate with the requirements of improving the quality and effectiveness of training and innovating teaching methods positively, taking students as the center. Each lecture and topic use different methods to promote students’ initiative, positivity, and passion for learning knowledge to solve practical problems that require.

Fourthly, attaching the task of scientific research and management of training and retraining. The results of scientific research and practical summaries must be associated with the task of training cadres, filtering, and using research results of scientific topics (ministerial level, state-level...) to serve to teach. To do this, the Academy needs to have a mechanism to provide information and exchange knowledge between specialized institutes and lecturers, in which it is necessary to issue the regulation forcing lecturers to use scientific research results in teaching. At the same time, it is necessary to develop working regulations of the Academy-level Scientific Council in organizing and developing the framework of the training program of the Academy system. This work contributes to improving the quality of training and attaches the responsibility of scientific agencies to the training and retraining of Party cadres.

Renovation of the management, developing and implementing training plans, updating knowledge to improve training quality and effectiveness and strengthening facilities and funding for teaching and learning, especially online teaching in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, strengthening cooperation between the Academy and other departments, ministries and sectors in implementing the task of training and updating knowledge for leaders and managers.

Dr. NGUYEN VAN LUONG

Department of Training Management,

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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