Instructor: Nguyen Tuan An
Viet Nam, a country with more than 80 million people, is a developing country which is in the process of transition from a centrally planned to a market economy and world economic integration. Besides common challenges facing developing countries, Viet Nam is facing with greater challenges, i.e. the need to accumulate for long-term development and industrialization and modernization in parallel with the need to urgently alleviate poverty and create social equality in differently developed sectors. Beside impacts of integration, modernization, hunger alleviation and poverty reduction, sustainable development requires special contribution of science and technology in order to preserve biodiversity and cultural diversity, conserve natural resources and prevent environment pollution. Today, education is treated by governments and various stakeholders as an investment for future and is considered an effective tool for sustainable development. This common trend is also clearly reflected in Viet Nam and it shows both good and bad effects. The good sides:
Firstly, follow the Marxist theory, Jerome Karabel in the book The Sociology of Education shows that “class interests behind a given pattern of education organization and seek to specify the social groups supporting the relation prevailing between school and other social institutions. To the extent, Marxism sees a harmonious fit between the education system and the surrounding society. Maxis show that whatever educational system exists as an essentially unavoidable reflection of the particular class structure in which it is embedded.” (210) Viet Nam, follow the China style, enjoys the advantages of a strong political commitment to education. The Government of Viet Nam attaches much importance to education in the development and is strongly committed to develop education. Ms. Le Thi Hoang Cuc, secretary of the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO Head of Education Unit give the strategies of Vietnam education:
“Viet Nam Education Law, Viet Nam Education Development Strategic Plan for 2001 - 2010, Viet Nam National Plan of Action on Education for All and other documents emphasize the followings: (1) Education and training is the Priority-Number- 1 national policy. Together with science and technology, education is the determining factor for economic growth and sustainable social development. Investment for education is considered investment for development. (2) Education is the foundation for social development, and rapid and sustainable economic growth. (3) Educational innovation should be in keeping with the demands for socio-economic development; at the same time, creating a learning society that provides life long education for all and promotes all for education is an urgent task. (4) To continue educational innovation systematically and comprehensively in order to enhance the quality and effect of education; and to serve the country’s sustainable development.” (Vietnam and Education Report, 2-4) As Viet Nam’s Education System is closely related to social, economic and political changes and developments, it has to reorient to be able to cope with new challenges of the country. Overall objectives of educational innovation for sustainable development in Vietnam are improve the quality and effectiveness in education, meet the diversified demands for and levels of human resource in order to serve regional and international integration; increase the scale and structure of the education system, and guarantee the implementation of policies on social equity in education. The implementation of social policies to ensure social equality (especially to remote and disadvantaged areas and groups of people…) is an essential task of education. It is not merely a priority but a strategy to provide human resource for sustainable...