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Thursday, 23 November 2017 15:46
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Training programme for officers from Lao People’s Democratic Republic at Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

(LLCT) - For the past few years, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics - the most prestigious academy of the Vietnamese Communist Party - has always trained leaders and managers for the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Considering this as a task of utmost importance, the Academy has achieved many noteworthy results in building and developing the high quality human resources for the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and in strengthening the good relationship between the two countries.

Assoc.Prof., Dr. Nguyen Viet Thao, Vice President of the Academy giving speech

at the Opening ceremony of Vietnamese class for Lao officers _ Photo: HCMA

1. Generally evaluating the training programme for officers from Lao People’s Democratic Republic at Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

- The scale and forms of training

For 25 years (from 1992 to 2017), Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics has trained and provided continual education to a certain number of officers with different forms for the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

The number of Lao officers trained and educated at the Academy is great with the annual average of 138 people(1). The forms of training and education are varied including high-level political theory and administration classes, graduate and post graduate programmes, title fostering and knowledge updating classes. 

- Admissions

Learners of the training and continual education programme for officers from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic are all nominated. With the close cooperation between the Academy and the related offices of the two countries, the admission for each class has been carried out effectively. The learners of short-term continual education classes and high-level political theory and administration classes are mainly leaders and managers with lots of experience from central and local departments and offices in the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. They are professional, skilled and experienced in applying knowledge to reality. As incumbent leaders and managers with certain positions in central and local departments of Laos, they all have good attitudes toward learning and the desire to understand the issues of their concern to apply them to the reality.  

However, in some classes or some training courses including the Master and PhD courses, there are still some learners who do not have good enough command in Vietnamese. The mixed abilities of learners in one class somehow affect the quality of the training courses. Some learners lack certain documents in the required personal profiles and the personal profiles are not uniform, which cause difficulties in managing and issuing certificates. 

- Building training programmes and drawing up plans

Building training programmes

Basing on the goals and the requirements of each class, the Academy has built a rather complete programme for the classes of high-level political theory and administration and classes of continual education and professional knowledge updating in the fields of supervision, organization, propaganda and training, diplomatic relationship or specific classes for lecturers at provincial political schools and classes for district level party committee secretaries. The aforementioned programmes have been supplemented and modified to meet the requirements and the reality in different periods in the two countries. Basically, the content of the programme ensures improving the political knowledge and professional skills of the learners.

However, during the implementation of the programme, there are some issues as followings.

For the short-term classes: There are no separate course books and materials and the communication depends on interpreters. Therefore, the transmission and receiving of information are limited. As a result, the quality of the short-term courses such as classes of updating knowledge or exchanging experience is not as good as expected.

For the high-level political theory and administration (five-month duration): Although there are some adjustment in time and content, there are still a lot of overlaps in different subjects and different lessons, which leads to lack of time for the lecturers and lack of interests for the learners.

Drawing up plans  

Drawing up teaching and learning plans is considered a very important task contributing to the success of a lesson. Therefore, right after getting the necessary information, the Academy has always tried to draw up teaching and learning plans quickly (usually within three working days), scientifically and logically in order to effectively exploit the resources in the current situation of the Academy.

However, this work somehow does not meet the demand of the reality. Although the plans for opening the classes have been made by the Organization Department of the Central Committee and the related ministries of both Vietnam and Laos, the implementation of this plan has sometimes met some difficulties due to the untimely communication. The Academy can only draw up specific plans for the responsible departments to carry out when receiving the news from international cooperation agency about the time the learners arrive in Vietnam. Therefore, the preparation for the teaching, especially the allocation of the teachers is sometimes not well-prepared.

- Teaching and managing tasks

 All the related units in the Academy have created favourable conditions for Lao learners in all fields (studying, researching, daily living...) such as assigning them with experienced lecturers with good knowledge and methods and deep understanding of the country, the people and the revolutionary reality of Laos. 

The Academy also appoints experienced and enthusiastic teachers with good understanding of the country to manage the classes.

All the localities and offices where Lao learners are taken to for doing research or taking part in field trips are very supportive, helpful and willing to help the learners because they all understand the special relationship between the two countries. As the result, the field trips are all evaluated to be practical and useful and learners can learn a lot from the reality of Vietnam.

The main problem existing is the conventional method of teaching which is still one-way when lecturers speak and learners listen and take notes through interpreters.

- The implementation of the policies for learners

For the past few years, the Academy has implemented the policies for Lao learners as defined by the State, ensuring each and every learner received the stipulated treatments. However, there are still no clear regulations on the expenses for compiling and translating textbooks and supplementary materials for the training courses for officers of the Lao Party and State. The money for learners’ field trips is also limited due to the regulations of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Planning and Investment. Especially, the long-term courses such as graduate, Master and PhD courses do not cover the expenses for field trips. However, the demand for connecting learning to doing and relating theory with reality is becoming more urgent because it can greatly affect the quality of teaching and training. This problem has existed for many years and not yet been solved.    

2. Some suggestions

The related offices in Vietnam and Laos need to agree on the following issues.

The admission and training plans

- Laos needs to classify their officers before sending them to Vietnam to attend different courses basing on three criteria: (1) the qualifications and the ability to use Vietnamese; (2) Educational background or professional skill; (3) Job titles. For the long-term courses (Master and PhD courses) which learners do not have interpreters in the class, their ability to use Vietnamese need to be tested before going to Vietnam and only those with good ability should be appointed.

- Standardize the personal profiles including certificates and resumes, following the regulations of the Organization Committee of the Party Central Committee, and Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training and make sure that the learners have all the necessary documents with them at admission time.  

- When planning to send officers to Vietnam, Laos needs to schedule the specific time for each class and closely cooperate with and timely inform the Academy so that the Academy can be well-prepared such as drawing up teaching and learning plans, compiling and translating textbooks and other related materials, appointing the head teacher and looking for interpreters... Moreover, there needs to be a plan for expenses so the related offices can prepare to avoid the situation that there may be no expenses for the related tasks when the learners arrive. Laos should not send many people to Vietnam to take part in different training courses because the Academy can meet difficulty in allocating resources especially interpreters.   

- There should be a general annual plan of training officers for the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. The plan for the next year should be sent to the Academy by the fourth quarter of the previous year at the latest.

The Programme and Training methods

The teaching departments need to cooperate to check and cut the overlapped content in different subjects and increase the practical content in the teaching programme.

There should be fixed time for discussion in each lesson to increase interaction and encourage the activeness of learners.

In order to improve learners’ Vietnamese, the learners of graduate and post graduate courses should follow a suitable programme to learn Vietnamese at least haft of the training time.  

The policies for learners

The related offices in Vietnam need to cooperate with one another to reform the policies and increase the expenses so that the Academy can meet the demand of teaching, learning and researching of learners of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. 

- Increase the monthly expenses for learners of both long-term and short-term courses to make sure they have enough money to spend on living, learning and researching when the living cost in Vietnam has gone up for the past 5 years. The time and money for researching and going on field trips, especially for learners of high-level political theory and administration, need to be increased in order to ensure the motto of “learning linked to doing” and “theory relating to reality” and improve the quality and effectiveness of the training programme.   

- Increase the pay for interpreters in classes. Lao is a special language and it is difficult to find an interpreter that can meet the requirement of the Academy. Therefore, a low pay for interpreters would cause a lot of difficulties to organizing classes. 

- Fund the compiling of textbooks and materials because the teaching and learning materials for learners of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic frequently need to be supplemented and updated with the new content of the Party Congresses and Resolutions of the Party Central Committee plenums as well as other global, regional and local issues. Moreover, these materials need to be translated into the Lao language fully and timely. Therefore, it is necessary to invest funds in compiling these materials.

The combination of the related offices

- There should be specific regulations or guidelines about the combination of the related offices in training officers for the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. With specific tasks, timelines and routes for each unit, the organization of classes will be more effective. 

- There should be a plan for lecturers from the Academy to go to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to teach some classes or to take part in some field trips annually.

- There should be periodical meetings to summarize the training programme for officers of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. Reports from such meetings will be important information for the organization of classes in the next years.

Training leaders and managers for the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party is the important mission that is assigned to the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics by the Politburo and the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee. For the past few years, the Academy has always tried its best to complete this glorious mission. Thousands of Lao officers have graduated different training courses at the Academy. Back in their country, they have taken important positions in different fields and places and contributed to the construction and development of their country. Many of them have gained a lot of successes both in their career and in professional development. These results are the inspiration for the Academy to reform itself and to promote its strengths and overcome difficulties to improve the training for officers of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party to meet the demand of reality and to become worthy of the trust of the Parties and the peoples of the two countries.

l Endnote:

(1) Only in 2017, 198 learners from Laos are estimated to study at the Academy.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Hoang Anh

Training Management Department

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics


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