Jan 21, 2013

Vietnam - MOET too deeply intervenes in schools’ business?

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VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has imposed its will on schools when requesting the schools to stop enrolling students for economics training majors.

MOET has conveyed a clear message to universities and junior colleges that they should not enroll more students for economics related training majors from the 2013 academic year, warning about the oversupply of the labor force in the fields, which would make graduates unemployed.

However, the decision by MOET has raised a strong opposition from schools, which think that MOET has unnecessarily intervened in their business. The educators say MOET should fulfill its duty as a state management agency instead of trying to show schools what they should do and how many students to enroll.

Prof Pham Vu Luan, Minister of Education and Training, has his reason when releasing such a decision. A survey from the 2011 enrolment season showed that 248 out of the 416 schools enrolled students for one of the four economics related majors – finance & banking, economics, business administration and accountancy.

A report has pointed out that the students registering to follow the studies accounted for 38 percent of the total students, while the figure is double the labor force needed.

Meanwhile, schools also have their reason to criticize that MOET for breaking the rules. Prior to that, the ministry released the Circular No 57 in December 2012 on the enrolment quotas, clearly stipulating that training establishments are given autonomy in defining the number of students to be enrolled every year and implementing the enrolment plans.

Some educators compared the MOET’s decision with the Ministry of Transport’s decision made one year ago that the ministry’s officials must not go playing golf even at weekend.

The similarity of the two decisions is that the leaders try to make a rough handling to the private lives of the inferiors. However, the Minister of Transport only prohibited his inferior officials to play golf, and the reason was clear and understandable. Meanwhile, the reason citing by MOET is unclear and no one can say for sure about the ending of the decision.

Dr. Tran Xuan Nhi, former Deputy Minister of Education and Training, said that MOET should let schools decide themselves how many students to train and what training majors to provide after considering the demand in the society.

Nhi said that MOET, as a state management agency, can give forecasts about the labor market demand to which schools would refer to decide their training plans. In principle, schools have the right to provide training if they can satisfy the technical requirements, while students have the right to follow the studies they want.

Analysts also said that there has been no official report which can shows the reliable figures to prove that Vietnam does not need the bachelors in economics related majors any more. The excess of workers in the business fields, if this happens in reality, would be a temporary problem. Meanwhile, MOET needs to conduct a thorough survey before coming to a conclusion about whether to produce economics related students.

Nhi argued that a finance graduate may not succeed in his majoring business field. Similarly, an information technology majoring graduate still can succeed in the field relating to the business administration. Especially, many people still succeed in their jobs even though they do not experience any training courses at universities.

Dat Viet

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