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Wednesday, 28 December 2016 20:31
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The current training and use of ethnic minority personnel and civil servants in Vietnam

(LLCT) - Over the last years, ethnic minority personnel and civil servants have grown in qualitative and quantitative terms, thereby contributing to furthering socio-economic development and maintaining political security and social order in ethnic minority regions nationwide.

1. Results

Thanks to the implementation of the Party’s and State’s guidelines and policies on personnel work, over the last years, ethnic minority personnel and civil servants have grown in qualitative and quantitative terms, thereby contributing to furthering socio-economic development and maintaining political security and social order in ethnic minority regions nationwide.

The Party’s and State’s policies on personnel work have improved step by step. Legal documents have been issued or revised to become relatively comprehensive, thus being able to satisfy demands for the training, management and use of ethnic minority personnel and civil servants.

Party committees and local authorities at all levels have helped ethnic minority civil servants and employees to take part in professional development courses and those which provide them with political theories and managerial skills. After completing these courses, they have been appointed to suitable positions and titles. They have managed to put their acquired knowledge to good use and have basically lived up to expectations.

To date, 17,598 ethnic minority civil servants and employees or 4.7 per cent of the total workforce have received professional training. Political theory training has been given to 14,381 ethnic minority civil servants and employees or 3.0 per cent of the total workforce. State management training has been provided for 7,368 ethnic minority civil servants and employees or 9.45 per cent of the total workforce. Professional skill training has been given to 35,457 ethnic minority civil servants and employees or 8.52 per cent of the total workforce. Other training has been provided for 36,648 ethnic minority civil servants and employees or 16.67 per cent of the total workforce. 99 ethnic minority civil servants and employees or 3.3 per cent of the total workforce have been trained abroad(1).

The recruitment of ethnic minority civil servants and employees has been conducted in accordance with existing laws, publicly, rigorously and according to real situations. Organizations, agencies, ministries, industries and provinces have given priority to the recruitment of ethnic minority applicants according to the law and guiding documents. Policies aimed at attracting highly qualified people to mountainous, especially disadvantaged and ethnic minority regions have been formulated(2).

At present, there are 64,525 ethnic minority civil servants, accounting for 12.2 per cent of the total workforce. (This figure does not include personnel in Party and mass organizations.) Of them, 6,864 or 5 per cent work at central level organizations, and 57,661 or 14.83 per cent at centrally run provinces and cities. The total number of ethnic minority employees is 219,148, making up 12.9 per cent of the total workforce. Of them, 3.029 or 1.6 per cent work at central level organizations, and 216,119 or 14 per cent at centrally run provinces and cities(3).

Recruitment by many ministries, industries and provinces has combined permanent staff quotas and job requirements together and has attached importance to professional and ethical standards. Policies aimed at attracting civil servants and employees to grassroots-level authorities and socio-economically disadvantaged and especially socio-economically disadvantaged regions have proved to be effective.

The appointment of ethnic minority leadership and management positions has been made according to the principles of centralized democracy, objectivity, publicity and transparency, creating motivation for qualified, capable people to strive for promotion and contributing to the innovation of personnel work and improvement of the quality of ethnic minority personnel. The proportion of ethnic minority civil servants and employees in general and that of ethnic minority management at various levels in particular to local ethnic minority populations have gradually increased.

Besides these results, the training and use of ethnic minority civil servants and employees has some limitations and shortcomings:

The proportion of ethnic minority civil servants and employees in state bodies and public service agencies to local ethnic minority populations remains low. For instance, ethnic minority people account for 80 per cent of the population of Son La province, but only 42 per cent of its civil servants and employees are of ethnic minority origins. Bu Gia Map district in Binh Phuoc province is home to an ethnic minority community, but 90 per cent of its civil servants and employees are of Kinh origin, and has been unable to recruit ethnic minority personnel over the last decade.

The structure of ethnic minority civil servants and employees varies between Party organizations, state bodies and industries. The higher level these organizations and bodies are, the lower the percentage of ethnic minority civil servants and employees is. Of five Central Highlands provinces, Lam Dong has the lowest proportion of ethnic minority to its population, at 22 per cent, Kon Tum has the highest proportion, at 55 per cent, and the remaining three provinces have the minimum proportion of 35 per cent. However, their proportions of ethnic minority civil servants and employees to their total workforce do not exceed 15 per cent. At central level, the proportion of ethnic minority civil servants is only 5 per cent and that of ethnic minority employees 1.6, including eight people work at the Ministry of Science and Technology, seven at the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, four at the Ministry of Information and Communication, four at the Ministry of Construction, and three at the Ministry of Industry and Trade(4)...

Public service employees of ethnic minority origins mainly work in education and health care. Few of them work in mass organizations and economic and technical sectors.

In the same province, there is still an imbalance in the representation of different ethnic minority groups in the total force of civil servants and employees, especially in Northern mountainous provinces. (Except for Tay, Nung, Muong and Thai ethnic groups, other ethnic minority groups are very poorly represented compared to their populations.

The quality of ethnic minority civil servants and employees remains low. Not many of them have received political theory training. This is especially the case with commune-level specialized personnel; in some places, more than 60 per cent has not been politically trained. The percentage of ethnic minority civil servants and employees reaching state management standards is low. The leadership and management capacity of officials, especially grass-roots level ones, in some provinces with large populations of ethnic minority people is inadequate.

The training and fostering of ethnic minority civil servants and employees have yet to really meet actual demands. Some specialized fields are understaffed, for example medical specialists and bachelors of law, economics and technical engineering, but there are no applicants(5). Meanwhile, a relatively large proportion of ethnic minority students graduating from universities, colleges and vocational schools have no chance to apply for jobs in these fields because their qualifications are not suitable or recruitment quotas are too low(6). There have been no regulations concerning prioritized recruitment of ethnic minority people as civil servants and government employees in their localities. There is still a situation where students who are sent on further training under the policy of entrance exam exemption or for the purpose of succession planning are not offered jobs after their graduation. This situation has caused great pressure on recruitment at local organizations and bodies(7).

The training of civil servants and government employees in many places has yet to be connected to planning or requirements by each industry, level of authority and organization. This training is not suitable for ethnic minority people, women, or those living in remote, especially socio-economically disadvantaged areas. Those civil servants and government employees have taken part in refresher courses mainly to move up or change their pay scales rather than increasing their working capacity.

Annual training and fostering budget, quotas and plans are limited and have yet to meet actual demands. Training content, curricula and methods are not really suitable. Some training and refresher courses overlap each other in content or do not provide updated knowledge. Some lecturers of these courses are unqualified in terms of professional expertise and teaching methodology.

The training of ethnic minority civil servants and employees has not been linked to actual demands, thus many ethnic minority college graduates cannot find work because their majors are not suitable. The number of jobless college graduates under the policy of entrance exam exemption is high.

A good number of organizations of ministries, departments and industries have few or no civil servants or employees of ethnic minority origins. Although scores of districts have large populations of ethnic minority people, the number of ethnic minority civil servants and government employees in district- and commune-level administrative and public service organizations is small compared to the proportions of ethnic minority people to local populations. For instance, districts in Lam Dong and Dak Nong provinces (specifically Party committees of organizations, Departments of Construction, and Departments of Natural Resources and Environment) do not have civil servants or employees of ethnic minority origins.

The planning, distribution and appointment of ethnic minority civil servants and government employees for leadership and management positions are generally limited. Succession planning and the required proportion of each leadership position at various levels, especially that of women leadership and management of ethnic minority origins(8) in provinces with large populations of ethnic minority people have not received adequate attention. In general, the higher leadership positions are and the more economically developed cities and provinces are, the fewer ethnic minority leaders there are compared to the proportions of ethnic minority populations.

The causes of the above-mentioned problems and limitations are as follow:

Documents by the Government, ministries and industries stipulating and guiding the implementation of the Law on Cadres and Civil Servants and the Law on Public Employees as regards the training, recruitment, management and use of civil servants and public employees have been retardant in issuance and lack consistency. There is no specific and detailed regulation concerning the number and proportion of ethnic minority civil servants and government employees, so provinces are fraught with difficulty of implementing these laws.

In some localities, heads of organizations are not correctly aware of the planning and use of ethnic minority civil servants and government employees or are not determined to appoint them to positions, particularly leadership ones. Some Party committees and local authorities do not really pay attention to succession planning among ethnic minority civil servants and government employees. In some places, the planning, appointment and use of civil servants and government employees are at times unreasonable. Annual evaluation of civil servants and government employees remains formalistic or face-saving or far from substantial.

Investments in infrastructure and funds for the training and fostering of civil servants and government employees are insufficient.

The development of human resources based on education and training in mountainous areas remains limited. The quality of compulsory education in ethnic minority areas is generally low, so most ethnic minority pupils fail to pass university or college entrance exams. Permanent staff quotas and job demands at administrative and public service organizations have almost reached maturity, so it has been difficult to create jobs for college graduates of ethnic minority origins.

The abilities and standards of some ethnic minority civil servants and government employees are insufficient. They are not audacious enough to change their ways of thinking and doing and are still reliant on instructions from higher-level positions. They work mainly out of experience, and their ability to apply acquired knowledge to work is not strong.

2. Solutions for increasing the effectiveness of the training and use of ethnic minority civil servants and government employees in the time to come

Firstly, the Party’s view that all ethnic groups are equal and united, respect each other and help each other to make progress in all stages of the personnel work of the entire political system needs to be profoundly grasped. It is necessary to completely overcome the big ethnic group mentality, narrow-mindedness, localism and selfishness in the personnel work.

The “Where there are movements there are cadres” motto is to be applied in accordance with the characteristics of each area or region of the country.

Secondly, the “Taking people as the roots” point of view is to be followed. Trust is to be built during recruitment, planning, use and appointment of ethnic minority personnel. During the training, planning and use of this personnel, patience and flexibility rather than perfectionism are needed.

Thirdly, the planning, training and use of civil servants and government employees must originate from the political tasks and characteristics of each locality. First and foremost, emphasis is to be given to the development of education and training in ethnic minority areas. At the same time, the number of Party members of ethnic minority origins in all industries and authorities at all levels must increase, no matter what ethnic group they belong to and whether they are locals or have moved from somewhere else. It is necessary to find positive elements through emulation movements at grassroots level, in industries and in ethnic minority areas.               

Fourthly, organizations in charge of ethnic minority work are to strengthen. The quantity and quality of ethnic minority personnel especially at provincial and district-level departments are to increase. This personnel is to advise local Party committees and authorities on the implementation of ethnic minority policies. Some ministries and industries should have divisions specializing in supervising the implementation of their respective ethnic minority policies.

Finally, the Party’s leadership over ethnic minority personnel work is to intensify. The planning, training, fostering and use of ethnic minority personnel for each region and ethnic group are to be well implemented. In light of Resolution 24-NQ/TW of 14 August 2006 by the Party Central Committee on ethnic minority work, there should be revisions to criteria for the recruitment and appointment of people working in ethnic minority and mountainous areas and especially those having worked for a long time in mountainous areas and to mechanisms and policies aimed at providing them with preferential treatment.

____________________

(1), (3), (4) Report 840/BC-HDDT13 of5January 2014 by the 13th National Assembly’s Council on Ethnic Issueson the results of the supervision of “The implementation of policies and laws on the training and use of ethnic minority cadres, civil servants and government employees to the year 2013”.

(2) The People’s Council of Lang Sonprovince issuedResolution111/2013/NQ-HDND on31July 2013and its People’s Committee issued Decision23/2013/QD-UBND on10October 2013on support and incentives forcivil servants and government employees sent on training and refresher courses; policies aimed at attracting highly qualified people to Lang Son.

(5) In Tuyen Quangprovince, only 101out of 141 communes have doctors,and the remaining40 communes do not because of the lack of recruitment resource.

(6) In2013, Lang Sonprovince had nearly7,000 applications for civil servants and government employees(including applications sent in from other places), and 1,967 applicants were recruited. In Van Quandistrict in the province, there were 444 applications for civil servants and government employees in2013, and 92 applicants were recruited.

(7) In Tuyen Quangprovince,between 2004 and2013, 332 were sent to college under the entrance exam exemption policy. 77 of them were recruited. Of the remaining 225unrecruited people, 79 had graduated and 146 were still studying. InLang Son province,under the same policy, from2008 to2014,178 students graduated, only 75 of them were recruited. (8) In Lam Dongprovince,eight ethnic minority women or two per cent of the total number of ethnic minority people in management or leadership hold management or leadership positions. InDak Nong province, there are 12 ethnic minority women who hold management or leadership positions, accounting for 3.2per cent of all ethnic minority people in management or leadership.

MA. Vu Khanh Hoan

Board on Internal Affairs

Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee

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