On May 3, 2018, a roundtable discussion on “Autonomy Mechanism for Public TVET Institutes” took place in Hanoi. Hosted by the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET), the event provided an opportunity for around 40 representatives from TVET institutes, ministries, members of the decree drafting committee, local and international experts working in TVET to discuss strengths and limitations of the draft decree on autonomy. The workshop helped the decree drafting committee to gather further valuable input for revision of the draft.
While participants agreed that autonomy especially concerning strategic and operational planning as well as human resources of TVET institutes is a precondition to successfully establish the cooperation with the business sector and deliver demand-oriented training, shortcomings were also openly discussed. “The business sector is an important source of financing for TVET institutes. However, the draft decree neither mentions cooperation with the business sector specifically nor the benefits that companies could get for investing in TVET activities”, the rector of the Vietnam-Korea TVET college, Mr Nguyen Cong Chuyen commented. Another aspect brought to attention was, the focus of the draft decree on financial autonomy. Additionally, the participants discussed the need to specify the members, role and responsibilities of proposed school councils; the issue of ensuring quality of TVET training offers and ensuring the quality breakthrough facing a switch from the current input to an output-financed TVET system; the link between autonomy and the role of the state, and policies to attract qualified TVET teaching staff.
Summing up the roundtable discussion, Dr Truong Anh Dung, Vice General Director of DVET, appreciated the valuable and constructive comments and emphasised that “autonomy goes along with rights, accountability and responsibilities. It should not solely be focused on financial aspects, but consider all of its dimensions: planning and performance of tasks; organization, personnel and financing”. Finally, Dr Dung stated, that “it is important to raise awareness about the implications of autonomy – not only tofstate management agencies, line agencies and TVET institutes for consistent implementation – but in addition to the public as well. This ensures the public’s understanding and broad support for autonomy.”
Autonomy for TVET institutes, including accountability, independent evaluation mechanisms, state control and social supervision, is identified as one of the three priority solutions for the quality breakthrough in TVET as envisaged by the Vietnamese government. The comments and resulting discussion regarding further adjustments, additions and requests for clarification were compiled by DVET as important input for its drafting team. This will help to finalise the decree on “Autonomy Mechanism for public TVET institutes” and contribute to reaching the target of Resolution No 19-NQ/TW of the Communist Party aiming at “ 10% of TVET institutes able to achieve financial autonomy by 2021”.
The roundtable discussion was organised by the Vietnamese-German Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam. The programme is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.