THE DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATION IN VIETNAM ( AIDEV )





                  NGUYEN NGOC TRAN and AIDEV

                   on October 27th, from 5.30 pm to 7pm at AIDEV's office



Present at the meeting : P.D. Dung, D.D. Giu, H.D. Hung, D.H. Muoi, N.Q. Tien.

Reporter : N.Q. Tien.


1. To begin with, following the request of the AideV members present at the meeting, Mr.Nguyen Ngoc Tran introduced himself, summarizing his activities since his return to Viet Nam in 1976. Lately, he has not presented his candidacy for the renewal of his seat as deputy and has ended his function as vice-president of the Foreign Relation Office of the National Assembly; he now assumes two main functions :

as a member of the Committee of National Policy on Science and Technology, advising the Prime Minister;

as president of the Center for the Study and Development of the region of the Mekong River Delta. This center has been created to pursue the national Scientific Program called " Program for the Global Study of the Region of the Mekong River Delta " which he had presided ( 3/1983-12/1990 ) .

2. Mr N.N. Tran raised two subjects for discussion and exchange of ideas with AIDEV, in view of concrete actions on behalf of the country:

1.1 First subject : Summary of the situation in Viet Nam with regard to the effect of the global weather change :

Viet Nam has 3300 kms of coastlines and two large river deltas. Should the sea level raise only by 30-40 centimeters, a large part of these plaines, particularly that of the Mekong river delta, would be inundated and become saline; furthermore, the action of the waves dynamics would erode the coastlines ( one already starts to see more of this in the last few years ). Even tsunami could happen in case of strong earthquakes from the Philippines. The International Program on Climate Change ( IPC ) has classified the region of the Mekong River delta as one of the most endangered regions, just as the Bangladesh.

1.2 Second subject : the situation of the universities in Viet Nam requires an extremely big effort in order to satisfy the need of formation on both quality and quantitative aspects :

according to the statistics, in 2005, Viet Nam has 170 students for every 10,000 people. This is a rather low ratio, much lower than in other ASEAN countries. In 2003, there were 1,131,000 students attending the universities and technical schools, among whom 994,000 belonged to the public sector and 137,000 to the private one.

actually, many universities are being created, in particular private universities. This which raises serious concern about the quality of the formation. The majority of these universities has none, or just a few, teachers with a doctorate degree. This leads to the phenomenon of " renting the doctor title " . The two most fashionable subjects are Computer Sciences and Corporate Management. The program of formation in computer science in these universities is insufficient with the result that the students who graduated from them need either to follow complementary formation in order to attain the level of selection, or to go abroad for further study.

3. Discussions : starting from the above two subjects, various ideas have been exchanged between Mr. N.N. Tran and AideV's members , leading to a number of conclusions that AideV has registered in view of further study for possible actions in the future :

3.1 Participate in proving that private universities in the world are established not for financial benefit ( For example : to see whether the private schoools in France are established within the framework of the Law of 1901 ( not for benefit ) ; the model of the majority of universities in the US ( work no profit ); or the Australian universites : out of 34 universities, only 2 are private but which are also not for profit purpose ).

3.2 Collaboration with one university or two in the Mekong delta, in order to reinforce a discipline of formation which exists already and which is in need for the country ( as for exemple what some members of AideV have already done for the Polytechnic university, the universities of Hochiminh City and of Da nang in Aeronautics )

In the same spirit and in view of the perpective of the global climate change and the mounting the oceans, one could envisage the possibility of helping a university in the Mekong river delta to create a teaching program on the fight against the salinisation of the lands and on the dynamics waves on the coastlines.

AIDEV shall try to quickly study the pre-feasablity of these projects, reexamine the capacity of AIDEV + sympathizers among the Vietnamese community in France, for the teaching purpose, and also on the financial and material aspects.

If the above adea is shared by AideV, Mr. N.N. Tran will immediately contact the authority of some universities, as those of Cantho, Tra Vinh and the National University of Hochiminh City, as well as the Popular Committees of the towns in question in order to take the firstt steps in the develoment of the project. One possibility that deserves our attention : to put the project inside the framework of the Decentralized Program of Cooperation France-Viet Nam ( cooperation between a town or province on Vietnam and a department or region in France ) as for exemple the Poitou-Charente which has provided aids for the aeronautics program mentioned above.

4. The meeting ended in a friendly atmosphere with the promiss that Mr. N.N. Tran and AIDEV will keep regularly in close contact, not only to push forward the above two projects but also on other matters deemed of mutual interest.