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$33 million educational scheme withdrawn

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The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), on Tuesday, scrapped a scheme to renew the national high school examination from 2018 to 2020.

Hưng Yên Province estimates some 13,000 of its students will take the national high school examination in 2018. - VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Kiên

 

The scheme, which was set to cost VNĐ749 billion (US$33 million), triggered social uproar recently as its content indicated that the national high school examination would have little change compared to the one in 2017 for the next three years.

The only significant difference is the preparation of technical infrastructure and software for the 2021 national high school examination. Therein, from 2021, candidates can do tests on computers.

Regarding the scheme, MOET said it aimed to create a foundation to implement the renewing procedure of examination, high school examination and university admission from 2021, following the educational system reform which will be pushed back from the 2018-19 academic year

Only after people started to complain about the scheme did Education Minister Phùng Xuân Nhạ reevaluate the scheme and found that the financial planning was built based on many related resources, some even duplicated while several items were not feasible.

Moreover, some other items were indirect costs unrelated to examination implementation. Therefore, the minister ordered the withdrawal of the scheme, Vietnam News Agency reported.

MOET blamed the drafting department on including expenses unrelated to the organising procedures of the national high school examination and the university entrance examination such as spending for the Renovation of General Education Project or the Enhancing Teacher Education Programme.

Nguyễn Tùng Lâm, head of Hà Nội Association of Psychology and Education, told Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper that the content of the withdrawn scheme was not innovative or sustainable and created no change in teaching quality.

Regarding the expense of more than VNĐ266 billion ($11.7 million) to build an exam question bank, Lâm wondered how the bank would be used in the next three years when the general education programme was reformed.

He recommended considering education system reform when drafting the scheme as well as its impacts to the present high school education.

Lê Viết Khuyến, former head of the Department of Higher Education under MOET, said that in recent years, the Association of Việt Nam Universities and Colleges had stated that MOET should have only performed State management while the implementation of high school and university entrance examinations would be handled by localities and universities. Therefore, using State funds for a scheme on renewing examinations is not proper, from Khuyến’s perspective.

 

Source: VNS

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