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Monday, 26 July 2021 19:58
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Upgrading the contingent of HCMA’s lecturers on a par with its assigned missions in the new period

(PTOJ) - Currently, a contingent of lecturers of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) needs a breakthrough development in both quantity and quality. Lecturers of the Academy must be exemplary in all aspects; highly qualified; proactive in scientific research; practically knowledgeable; effectively engaged in the struggle to protect the Party's ideological foundation, and mastery in active teaching methods. To develop a contingent of lecturers on a par with their assigned tasks in the new period, it is necessary to synchronously apply a variety of solutions: establishing a development plan for the 2020-2030 period; preparing for sources of lecturers in appropriate ways; enhancing the training and fostering of lecturers; creating an open scientific environment for lecturers; ensuring regular rotation for lecturers; attaching importance to the attendance work; periodically evaluating the lecturers, and building appropriate mechanisms and policies.

Decision No.145-QD/TW dated 8 August, 2018 of the Politburo on the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics states clearly as follows:

1. “HCMA is an institution directly under the Party Central Committee; under the direct, comprehensive and regular leadership and direction of the Politburo and the Secretariat.

2. HCMA is the national training and fostering center for leaders, managers from middle to high-ranking levels, cadres of political theory science of the Party, State and political-social organizations. It is the national institute of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought, studies the lines, orientation, policies and laws of the Party and State, studies on political science, leadership, management for teaching and learning, contributing to providing scientific arguments in planning the policies of the Party and the State”.

Given the current context when HCMA’s political tasks are becoming heavier and complicated, amid the increasingly concerned deterioration of political ideology, morality, and lifestyle and the strong and drastic fight against it, the development of a contingent of HCMA lecturers has become all the more an urgent issue.

An overview on the contingent of lecturers and requirements for the lecturers of HCMA.

Currently, HCMA has 976 lecturers out of total 2109 staff, accounting for 46% (which should be approximately 60-70% in a training institution, depending on certain conditions). Among them, 7 are professors, 161 associate professors, 379 doctors, 390 masters, and 39 bachelors. All 7 professors work at the Central Academy; 5 affiliated institutes do not have professors; Academy of Politics Regional IV has only one associate professor.

By ranks, there are 268 senior lecturers, 317 main lecturers, and 391 lecturers.

For the tertiary education level in Vietnam, the current common standard for lecturers is acquiring a master’s degree or higher and experience in teaching and scientific research that meets the requirements of the training institutions. Some institutions require teachers to have additional proficiency in informatics and foreign languages, to meet the requirements of educational modernization and international integration.

Thus, lecturers of HCMA are supposed to meet the following requirements:

Being exemplary in all aspects:

The training objectives for all classes of the Academy are: “Strengthening political mettle, ideological stance; practicing morality and manners of the revolutionary cadres”.

Thus, the lecturers must be a real example of political mettle, ideological stance; morality, lifestyle and working style so that they can become vivid and convincing proofs of their teaching content.

b. Being highly qualified

Most of the students in HCMA are leaders, managers at all levels who are well qualified, rich in practical experience (for example, a class of advanced political theory has 90 learners, of whom 38 are associate professors, 54 are PhDs). Therefore, lecturers must be highly qualified in order to be able to convey their knowledge and skills according to the training objectives, and to inspire learners. To this end, lecturers need regularly improve their fundamental and specialized knowledge; update themselves on the Party’s guidelines, the State’s policies and laws, new knowledge of domestic and international affairs which have far-reaching effects on all aspects of social life.

c. Being proactive in scientific research and having researches publicized frequently

Lecturers must do research. Without scientific research, it is difficult for them to teach well, especially for training and fostering leaders and managers. Research findings help lecturers deepen, sharpen, update and consolidate their lecture contents, thereby creating their confident attitude when communicating with learners.

Scientific products include textbooks and materials for teaching and learning, published articles, approved and socialized research topics.

The application of scientific products to lecture contents is one of the criteria to evaluate the quality of training.

Today, lecturers’ research must attach great importance to practical reviews.

d. Having profound knowledge of reality

The training motto of the Academy is: “Study goes hand in hand with practice”, and “Theory is attached to practice”. As such, during the teaching process, lecturers must necessarily refer their lectures to real life, and regularly be updated with related social information.

On the other hand, lecturers themselves must have hands-on experience in the aspects directly related to their discipline. They should have working experiences in the field they are teaching, and if they hold positions of leaders or managers will make them more suitable to the training environment at HCMA.

e. Being capable of effectively participating in the struggle to protect the Party’s ideological foundation

As lecturers of the Party’s Central School, which train specialized majors on political theory, Party building, they must play a pivotal role in the cause of defending the Party’s ideological foundation, in the struggle against wrongful and hostile views. The lecture halls are the forum, the top most important environment for lecturers to carry out this mission.

The discipline of lecturers’ speech must be strictly followed.

f. Being mastery in active teaching methods and utilizing technical aids

Teaching in HCMA must be associated with interaction, exchanging and discussion on the basis of provoking learners’ imitativeness, positivity and self-awareness.

The lecture hall should become a scientific forum for all learners in the class.

Lecturers are required to present lessons on Power Point, using multimedia platform, exchanging with students via e-mail or through training management software.

2. Some recommendations to develop the contingent of lecturers of HCMA

Firstly, establishing a development plan for the 2020-2030 period

This is an important task in the HCMA’s Development Strategy. Currently, the Academy is preparing for a 2-year preliminary review of the Politburo’s Decision No. 145-QD/TW. Along with that, it has reviewed the teaching staff, evaluated the situation, to accurately grasp the needs of quantity, quality, structure and age to have a basis for developing the development plan of the lecturers on a par with the requirements and tasks in the new stage.

Secondly, preparing for sources of lecturers in appropriate ways suitable to the specific conditions of HCMA

It is preferential to recruit young lecturers who are committed to work in HCMA for a long time, then training them to become fully qualified. The young lecturers should account for about 70% of the total number of lecturers recruited annually.

To a certain extent, it is necessary to recruit applicants from other agencies who are highly qualified, competent and can become lecturers in HCMA right away.

In addition to the full-time staff, it is advisable to actively invite guest lecturers (namely leaders, managers at all levels) who are pedagogically eligible to give lectures in HCMA. The teaching percentage of guest lecturers should be clarified, for example, for advanced political theories level, guest lecturers’ percentage out of full-time lecturers is not less than 25%. This creates more chances for learners to share many useful and practical experiences and skills.

Besides, in light of increasing international integration, it is necessary to invite foreign experts, especially from developed countries with relatively similar conditions to teach in HCMA. This is a good opportunity for Vietnamese lecturers and learners to study and improve their knowledge towards regional and international standards.

By 2025, HCMA aims at having about 60% of the total staff involved in teaching, and 65% by 2030.

Thirdly, attaching great importance to the training and fostering of lecturers

Training courses for lecturers should be organized systematically and intensively, aiming at equipping them with professional expertise and knowledge, methods and skills. BA’s political courses for lecturers of political theory should be made compulsory for the young lecturers of the HCMA.

Training and fostering courses should be organized on a regular basis to update knowledge on various fields according to the learners’ demands. Online classes should be made available.

Highly qualified and experienced lecturers should be assigned to instruct and support young lecturers, and periodically making report for at least every 6 months about the results. After a maximum of 3 years, the young lecturers are supposed to teach in the class for at least one lesson/topic within an appropriate time duration.

Fourthly, creating an open academic environment to promote the creativeness of lecturers.

The lecturers of the HCMA must be trusted and assigned tasks to promote their creativity in research and academic exchange. Young lecturers should be assigned to supervise or participate in research topics which directly support the training and fostering activities. The HCMA’s journals must become a forum for lecturers to publish their scientific products.

In light of the rapid development of the world science and theories, lecturers in HCMA, especially those of political theory, should be encouraged to exchange and cultivate knowledge with domestic and international scholars through their participation in scientific seminars, workshops; researches, surveys inside and outside Vietnam, and such.

Fifthly, rotating lecturers on a regular basis

Lecturers should regularly have chances to accumulate practical experience to enrich their lectures. It means that they should periodically be rotated to other appropriate fields or regularly collaborate with agencies, institutions which are directly relevant to their professional discipline. Focusing too much on theory, lacking personal experience will make the lectures unpersuasive to learners who are leaders, senior manager in different levels.

Sixthly, frequently organizing class attendance, particularly in classes hosted by young lecturers.

This is an effective solution to improve the quality of lecturers. It is recommended to apply at least 3 forms of attendance: (1) Class attendance planned by the training institution; (2) Class attendance planned by the teaching unit, and (3) Sudden attendance. After the attendance, objective comments and suggestions (if any) for the lecturers are also needed.

Fact has proven that class attendance motivates lecturers to prepare lessons more carefully, seriously and meticulously. Moreover, it helps them clearly and deeply aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and to share a lot of useful and practical knowledge and experience. As a result, lecturers will better fulfill practical requirements.

Seventhly, maintaining lecturers’ evaluation on a regular and serious basis.

Conducting assessment of all lecturers every 3 years; and evaluating a certain proportion of them (depending on practical conditions) every 1 year. Evaluation criteria must be comprehensive and objective. Evaluators must be competent and authorized.

The result of evaluation should be publicized in an appropriate way and this will lay a significant foundation for renovation and upgrading the quality of training and fostering.

Eighthly, establishing suitable policies for lecturers.

Lecturers of HCMA directly participate in training and fostering leaders and managers for the Party, State and the entire political system. Besides, they are also the vanguard in the cause of defending the Party’s ideological foundation. Their teaching activities require great efforts, wisdom and time. Thus, from a dedication perspective, their lectures surpass those of other institutions.

Therefore, there should be special policies and preferential mechanism for lecturers of HCMA to motivate them to successfully fulfill their political assigned tasks.

 

If we apply the above solutions in a synchronous way to the whole system, we can hope that by 2030, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics will have a contingent of lecturers on a par with their missions, meeting the practical requirements, and deserving the love and trust of the Party and people.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Hoang Anh

Department of Organization and Personnel

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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