The new curriculum, which focuses on students’ activities to develop their competence, is divided into two phases. The first phase of basic education is from grade 1 to grade 9 and the second phase of vocational orientation is from grade 10 to grade 12.
According to Professor Nguyen Minh Thuyet, the programme’s chief creator, the new curriculum has fewer subjects than the one it replaces and cuts down on the number of learning hours at the primary, secondary and high school levels. Schools will have more time for outdoor and entertainment activities for students.
Students at the primary school level are required to take lessons in Vietnamese, math, a foreign language, lifestyle and ethics, nature and society, history and geography, science, computer science and technology, physical education and arts. Computer science and technology is a new subject at this level.
At the secondary school level, compulsory subjects include literature, math, a foreign language, civic education, natural science, history and geography, technology, physical education, arts and computer science.
High school students have to learn literature, math, a foreign language, physical education and defence and security. Students will select optional subjects from social science, natural science, technology and arts. Ethnic minority language is an optional subject at all levels.
The new programme looks to ensure basic and compulsory content for students nationwide while granting autonomy to localities and schools in managing educational plans based on the conditions of each locality and educational facility.
Prof. Thuyet said the current educational programme is packed with academic knowledge that is not all practical for students. The new one has selected teaching content designed to develop students’ competency in practical areas.
Students are encouraged to explore the lessons by themselves to improve their skills and apply the knowledge and skills in practice. The teacher’s role has been switched from inactively delivering knowledge to guiding students’ exploration of lessons.
Teachers can also plan their schedule and select suitable teaching methods in relevance with programme, ability of students and specific conditions.
To reduce pressure on students, Thuyet said local management agencies, schools and teachers need to collaborate to curb extra classes.
He urged parents to help students balance study and entertainment to avoid pressure.
According to the National Assembly’s plan, the latest deadline to apply the new curriculum will be the 2020-2021 school year at primary level, 2021-2022 at secondary level and 2022-2023 at high school level.