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Vietnam's 2019 Education Reform Will Take Inspiration From Nordic Countries

Vietnam’s education authorities have started looking northward for ways to improve local schools and curricula.

As Tuoi Tre reports, Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha recently traveled to Finland, Denmark and Sweden to assess how the Nordic education system works. Nha was joined by headmasters from a range of Vietnamese schools and universities.

In Denmark, he met with Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs to discuss the country’s interdisciplinary approach to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. The visit resulted in 17 memoranda of understanding with Denmark to facilitate cooperation in medical and geological education and the application of information technology in education.

Nha’s northern excursion was also used to seek inspiration for Vietnam’s impending education reform, which is set for 2019. The new system is supposed to allow teachers and students more autonomy in class.

The delegation paid close attention to Finland’s teaching methods and curricula, as the country is widely recognized for its effective and holistic approach to teaching. Minister Nha also sought to acquire the rights to republish Finnish textbooks in Vietnamese, in addition to applying Nordic education tactics in Southeast Asia.

However, many experts are still on the fence regarding the knowledge transfer since there are many cultural differences between the two countries.

“One such difference is the human factor,” Lam Hong Lam Thuy, principal of Nguyen Binh Khiem Elementary School in Saigon, told Tuoi Tre. “In order to successfully implement modern teaching methods, we must first upgrade the mindset of teachers and education administrators.”

Thuy added that teachers in Finland are in a better position to educate than their Vietnamese counterparts: they have more autonomy and less supervision while also earning enough income to focus completely on their students.

VnExpress shared that there are also plans to establish two Finnish high schools in Vietnam, one each in Saigon and Hanoi.

[Photo via VnExpress]


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