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Friday, 27 July 2018 10:32
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Improving the effectiveness of field trip in refresher courses for reserve high-ranking cadres

(LLCT) - The field trips of six refresher courses for reserve high-ranking cadres attained remarkable results with regard to their objectives, tasks, contents, locations, duration and organization. As a result, the trainees received useful knowledge and proposed practical recommendations for socio-economic development in their localities. In order to make these field trips more effective for the upcoming courses, it is necessary to diversify the locations for field trips; build up plan for clearly assigned tasks; strengthen discipline and order in fieldwork; and renovate the method of evaluating the fieldwork findings.

Under the guidance of the Politburo and the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee on providing training and refresher courses for strategic reserve cadres for the 12th tenure, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, in collaboration with the Organizing Committee of the Party Central Committee, departments, committees and institutions in the central level, provinces and centrally-governed cities, organized six refresher courses for reserve high-ranking cadres (from March 27th, 2013 to July 2nd, 2015). The trainees were key cadres and those who were planned for the contingent of strategic reserve cadres at central agencies, provinces and cities throughout the country. They included alternate members of the Party Central Committee (11th tenure); cadres who were planned for the position of members of the Party Central Committee (12th tenure); cadres who were planned for the position of key leaders at ministries, committees, sectors and mass organizations at central, provincial and municipal level in the 2015 - 2020 period.

The curriculum consists of six modules and a field trip, of which: 5 basic modules, including: Marxism - Leninism, Ho Chi Minh Thought (6 credits); Contemporary world issues (5 credits); Lines of the Communist Party of Vietnam (10 credits); Party and State Building (7 credits); Leadership and Management Science (5 credits); supplementary lectures, including 10 reports by local and foreign experts; a two-week field trip.

1. Achieved results

- On the purposes of field trips

The field trips of the refresher courses for reserve high-ranking cadres aimed to:

- Meet the most important motto in teaching and learning political theory: theory is associated with reality; theory is related to practice.

- Equip trainees with clearer and more complete understanding of the issues in the theoretical modules, and the content of the supporting reports.

- Create conditions for trainees to compare their local realities and sectors with their expertise.

- Help trainees grasp the development models, draw lessons for creative application in strategic leadership.

- Help trainees better understand reality in people’s daily life, sympathize and share with them; on that basis, they will have their sense of responsibility and right attitude in communication with and behaviour towards the people.

The findings of the field trips conducted by trainees of six refresher courses for reserve high-ranking cadres revealed that: The above-mentioned purposes were well implemented. After their field trips, the trainees witnessed positive changes in perception; acquired more useful knowledge; in particular, they were closer to and more sympathetic with the people. This would exert positive influence on their strategic leadership at macro level later on.

- On the tasks of field trips

In order to achieve the above objectives, trainees of six refresher courses for reserve high-ranking cadres must perform the following specific tasks:

- Research the socio-economic situation of the locality (especially at the commune level).

- Research the situation, conduct analysis and evaluation of the implementation of guidelines and policies on the research field from provincial to commune level.

- Survey a number of typical agencies and units in implementing guidelines and policies on research field.

- Survey and grasp the local people’s thought and feelings, and attitudes of people in implementing the Party and State’s guidelines and policies.

- Participate directly in the production work with local people.

- Write a report; make recommendations and propose solutions to deal with the problems and issues in the locality of the field trips.

All the above-mentioned tasks were thoroughly carried out and thus positive results were achieved. Reports were carefully prepared, with comprehensive and accurate assessments of the local situation, addressing the critical issues, and proposing recommendations that are valuable for practical reference to solve those problems. All delegations took part in production work with the local people in a wide range of activities from road building, environmental hygiene to agro-produce harvest.

- Locations of field trips

The field trips of six refresher courses for reserve high-ranking cadres had been conducted in 54 remote and far-flung communes (including many border communes and islands) faced with socio-economic difficulties in 27 provinces throughout the country. They included Ha Giang, Lai Chau, Son La, Cao Bang, Dien Bien, Lang Son, Quang Ninh, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Tuyen Quang, Thai Nguyen, Bac Kan, Phu Tho, Thanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Daklak, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Binh Phuoc, Ben Tre and Ca Mau.

Such a wide range of locations were both comprehensive and typical, meeting both the broad and in-depth requirements for the research contents, and thus, in line with the purpose and mission of the field trips.

- Contents of field trips

During the first two days of the field trips, the delegations listened to an overview report on the province’s socio-economic and security-defence situation; surveyed a number of economic, scientific, technical, educational, training and cultural agencies of the province and districts.

In the following 7 days, the delegations conducted researches on: socio-economic situation; the work of Party building and developing Party members; activities of the local government, socio-political organizations in the commune; especially the building of new rural areas; hunger eradication and poverty reduction and specific issues of the locality that need to be addressed soon.

In the last 2 days of the field trips, the delegations made reports on the findings of the research in the district and province.

The content and implementation schedule was scientific, helping the trainees to closely follow three levels: province, district and commune; at the same time, the research findings were evaluated in the most favourable conditions.

- The duration of field trips

The field trips lasted 2 weeks. The working time was 11 days of which 2 days working with the province, 2 days with the district, 7 days with the commune and living in a local house or other places depending on specific conditions.

During the working time in the commune, the delegation had at least 2 days directly working together with the people.

This duration was in line with the general program of the 4-month course. The allocation of time in the province, district, commune also closely followed the research purposes and tasks. Most trainees participated fully during this required duration, making the most of their time to complete the set tasks.

- Organization

For the first 3 classes, each was divided into 4 delegations to conduct field trips in 4 provinces. For the next 3 classes, each was divided into 5 delegations to conduct field trips in 5 provinces; in each province they went to 2 different districts and 2 different communes.

For the first three classes, each class was divided into 8 groups; for the next 3 classes, each class was divided into 10 groups, containing 9-10 trainees each. This was done in accordance with the structural principle: central/local; region/area; male/female; professionalism. In the field trips, the trainees practiced self-management. Each delegation or group had a head who was responsible for general work. The trainees had to build their own programs and plans for their field trips, and saw to their accommodation or travel in the commune.

Each group was accompanied by one cadre of the Academy. As senior cadres with good qualifications and communication skills, they were responsible for monitoring the attitudes and performance of the trainees, and made regular reports to the Course Organizing Committee.  

Prior to the actual field trips, the President of the Academy would preside over the meeting with all the trainees and other related officials to direct the organization of the research plan, and answer the questions of the trainees’ concern.

The above-mentioned field trips proved their effectiveness. Each groups of 9-10 trainees would support each other in their research and discussion, accommodation and travel in the commune.

The different groups actively implemented their research plans with a high sense of discipline. They created and maintained good relations with local people.

The Academy cadres held high their sense of responsibility in both their supervision and support. They also directly participated in the research activities of the groups, becoming an important bridge between them and the Course Organizing Committee.

- The coordination between the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and provinces and cities, which are the locations of the field trips.

Two months prior to the actual field trips, the Academy sent Official Letters to concerned provinces, informing them of the content of the field trips. Then, the Academy sent delegations of cadres to work with the Provincial Party Committee of the concerned provinces on the plans for the field trips.

During the field trips, the President of the Academy and those in charge of the courses organized inspection tours, especially to the disadvantaged areas.

All the 27 host provinces cooperated closely and effectively with the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics. They extended hospitable welcome to the delegations; created favourable conditions for them to complete the set objectives and tasks.

In some provinces, the Secretary of the provincial Party Committee personally came to the commune to check the preparations for the field trips.

Each province appointed a senior cadre to exchange information with the Academy; arrange transportation and accommodation for the trainees. Each research group was supported by an experienced local official.

The host provinces actively contributed to the practical field trips of the trainees. As a result, their reports were generally of good quality, closely following the local situations and proposing practical recommendations.

These field trips further strengthened the close relationship between the host provinces and the Academy; at the same time, they opened up promising cooperation ties between the host provinces and the provinces, cities, ministries, sectors that sent their officials to their localities.

After finishing the courses, the Academy sent out a questionnaire to 350 trainees on the training program. The results of their assessment of field trips are as follows:

Given the achieved results, it can be said that the field trips of the trainees in the refresher courses for reserve high-ranking cadres have been successfully held.

However, some shortcomings still remain, namely:

The research scope of the field trips was relatively narrow, making their contents incomprehensive, thus failing to fully exploit the potential of the trainees who are key leaders of various fields.

The division of research groups was sometimes unreasonable: Trainees of the same professionalism were grouped together, while the research issue required combined professionalism to be effectively solved.

The discipline in the field trips sometimes were not fully followed. Some groups finished their field trips earlier than expected. One trainee even came back to office to settle personal work during the field trip.

The evaluation of the findings of each group failed to bring into full play the capability and responsibility of each and every trainee.

2. Recommendations

First, the locations for field trips should be diversified.The refresher courses for reserve high-ranking cadres for the Party Central Committee (12thtenure) organized field trips to remote and disadvantaged communes. The coming courses can organize their field trips to the provinces, or special economic zones, industrial zones, armed forces units, etc. The research subjects might not be limited to disadvantaged locations or socio-political hot spots. They can be a location with developed socio-economic progress, which can become a model for experience-sharing and application in other localities.

Second, it is imperative to prepare scientific and detailed plans in advance.Tasks should be assigned clearly and specifically. The trainees should be directly involved in the development of the research content for effective implementation.

Before the actual field trips, there should be a workshop on research skills and process of making the final report for all trainees. A sample report should be introduced. Reality has shown that many research groups share similar report models, with spread content, not focusing on the key issues of the locality.

Third, discipline in field trips should be strengthed. The Academy should closely coordinate with concerned agencies and units in supervision over the implementation of the research contents. The field trips must be completed within the specified time frame. Trainees are not allowed to leave the site without permission of the Course Organizing Committee. Violations of discipline should be dealt with properly.

Fourth, the method of evaluating field trip findings should be renovated.The findings should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. As such, each trainee must have his/her own reports. The report can be presented to the Evaluation Council  or marked in two independent rounds. Among the members of the Committee for Evaluation of Research Findings, there should be representatives of leaders of agencies and units where trainees are staffed.

Fifth, the research findings should be considered thoroughly for effective use.

First of all, the recommendations of the trainees as a product of the field trips should be carefully studied by concerned agencies (both at central and local levels). The appropriate contents should be applied properly. In fact, many of these recommendations prove valuable to the multi-aspect development of the locality.

In addition, the findings of the field trips of refresher courses for reserve high-ranking cadres are practical and useful documents, directly serving the training activities at the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics. Therefore, thorough classification and careful storage should be carried out; at the same time, it is necessary to ensure easy access for researchers, lecturers, students to these documents.

In the coming time, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics continues to be tasked with organizing refresher courses for reserve high-ranking cadres in preparation for the personnel of the Party Central Committee (13th tenure and beyond). Objective and comprehensive evaluation of the field trips of the refresher courses for reserve high-ranking cadres creates an important foundation for the Academy to effectively make necessary adjustments and supplements in the coming courses.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Hoang Anh

Department of Training Management,

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics


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