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Experiencing the programme: participants and coordinators give their feedback and share their views (7/7)

About half of the training programme has been completed by participants in Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam. IIEP is taking this opportunity to pose questions to some participants and coordinators.

Last to be published:  Mr. Tran Phuoc Linh, Team coordinator of ESP Programme in Ho Chi Minh City (Viet Nam) and Specialist, Division of Science, Technology, and International Relations at the Institute of Educational Managers, Ho Chi Minh City (Viet Nam)

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Mr. Tran Phuoc Linh, Team coordinator of ESP Programme in Ho Chi Minh City (Viet Nam)

Mr. Tran Phuoc Linh, Team coordinator of ESP Programme in Ho Chi Minh City (Viet Nam)

You have been coordinating the ESP Programme for the past 6 months. Could you please tell us about your role as Team Coordinator?

T.P.L: As a group coordinator, I have played different roles in running the programme. First, I worked as a communicator. I have been the bridge between my institution, the participants’ organizations and the ESP Team, as well as among the participants. Second, I worked as a planner. Whenever a new instruction was released, I made a detailed plan about the time and venue of the coming meeting, the duty of each participant in preparing for the meeting, and other administrative issues. Third, I worked as an “instructor” or “lecturer”. Usually, I had to read the materials very carefully to make presentations at the beginning of each meeting. These presentations covered the key points in each unit/section, including the objectives, outcomes, main points, concepts and especially practical current issues in Viet Nam which may be involved in the lessons. Participants found these presentations and lectures very useful to review what they had read before the meetings. Fourth, I worked as a facilitator at the group discussion. Whenever we had to prepare a group report or discuss a certain issue, we shared ideas by open discussions. I facilitated these discussions so that everyone could join in actively and effectively. At the beginning of the meetings, I let each participant share their feelings and experience in reading the text or simply the difficulties in pursuing the programme. This helped create more morale for the team. Fifth, I worked as an “editor”. Usually, each participant was responsible for drafting a group report prior to the meeting. Then we worked together to make a complete report at the meeting, which usually took place on Friday. During the weekend, I edited the report in terms of language usage, format, and other aspects of the report as instructed before submission. In short, as a local coordinator, I have tried my best to support and lead the team so as to reach the targets as much as possible on behalf of the IIEP ESP team.

Could you briefly explain why your training institution is participating in this programme? How do you think this programme has been beneficial for your institution? 

T.P.L: My Institute is major training centre which is experienced and prestigious in providing courses in educational administration, including educational planning in southern provinces of Viet Nam. It is our honour to have been recommended by Mr Vice Minister to cooperate with IIEP in the implementation of the ESP programme.

The cooperation with IIEP on the implementation of the programme is a good chance for us in enhancing international relations in general and our relation with UNESCO agencies in particular. This cooperation also provides us a good chance to work with other partners in Viet Nam. Professionally, we benefit a lot from participating in the programme as we can integrate many parts of the programme into the curriculum and materials of the course in Educational Strategic Planning in our institute, which in turns benefits the educational agencies in our region. Besides, our staff can take this opportunity to enhance their language skills by working in the international contexts.

Participants just taken the first individual examination and have completed three out of the six training modules. How would you assess the progress made by participants so far? Do you have some concrete examples?

T.P.L: The performances of my team in the first three modules were above average and reached the expectations. In terms of engagement, most participants have tried their best to grasp the lessons and to learn new things from the course. In terms of the result of the group report, the team in Ho Chi Minh City needs to improve more so as to meet the expectations. Regarding the mid-term examination, as the UNESCO examination supervisor, Ms Sun Lei, could confirm, most participants were very serious in their active engagement in the revision workshop and tried their best to achieve high scores; nevertheless, the results of the exam might be not as good as we wished.

Experiencing the programme: participants and coordinators give their feedback and share their views (6/7)

About half of the training programme has been completed by participants in Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam. IIEP is taking this opportunity to pose questions to some participants and coordinators.

Sixth to be published:  Lisa Nindito, participant of the ESP Programme and Accounting Lecturer and Head of Division of business and management at the State University of Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Lisa Nindito, participant of the ESP Programme in Indonesia

Lisa Nindito, participant of the ESP Programme in Indonesia

You have been taking part in the ESP Programme for the past six months. Could you briefly tell us what your expectations were when enrolling in this programme?

 L.N: As a lecturer in a university with a strong pedagogical background, my intention when enrolling in this programme was to help me enrich my knowledge in educational planning and furthermore enable me to share it with my students in the class. It is also because of my interest in learning more about educational planning that I think is a very important tool to be applied in solving educational problems in the case of Indonesia, a developing country with a large population and multicultural backgrounds. I also thought that the educational planning would be an interesting new knowledge to learn, considering my accountancy science background.

You are completing the ESP distance programme while continuing to work at your job. Has the programme helped you in your day-to-day work? If so, how?

L.N: After studying three modules, I am now more confident in sharing my educational knowledge with my colleagues as well as my students. I was just appointed as the head of study programme in my department and now I am working on developing new curriculum with competency-based referring to national qualification frameworks. This curriculum should be applied by educational institutions in Indonesia and through collaboration with Ministry of National Education and Culture with the Ministry of Labor of the Republic of Indonesia.

I learned several theories about educational planning, concepts about quality and its dimensions, as well as about internal and external efficiency of education, and more, and these have helped me understand and develop an analysis of needs and programmes needed in our new curriculum that will best suit the needs of the industry.

Has this programme allowed you to enlarge your professional network? Has the cooperation with the other programme participants been helpful? If so, how?

L.N: Yes, I am very fortunate to work in a group of people who are very friendly and enthusiastic in learning and sharing knowledge together.  Our group coordinator, Mr Hafid, has been very helpful in giving us explanations and guidance in our group discussion sessions. He always encourages us to learn more, to participate more, and to do work that will be useful for us as an individuals and as a responsible citizens. So far, this programme has helped me meet new great teammates in UNJ group (State University of Jakarta), new friends from the Ministry of Education and Culture group, as well as some very helpful personals from the UNESCO Office of Indonesia and IIEP in Paris.  I am thankful for the opportunity given to me.

Experiencing the programme: participants and coordinators give their feedback and share their views (5/7)

About half of the training programme has been completed by participants in Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam. IIEP is taking this opportunity to pose questions to some participants and coordinators.

Fifth to be published:  Ms. Kessara Amornvuthivorn, participant of the ESP Programme and Program area manager, Innovative education at the Kenan Institute Asia*, Thailand.

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Ms. Kessara Amornvuthivorn, participant of the ESP Programme in Thailand

Ms. Kessara Amornvuthivorn, participant of the ESP Programme in Thailand

You have been taking part in the ESP Programme for the past six months. Could you briefly tell us what your expectations were when enrolling in this programme?

K.A: When I applied for this programme, I expected to learn about good practices on educational planning and to learn the answers to the following questions: What aspects should be taken into consideration when conducting an educational planning? What are the procedures for a robust planning and analysing? How to ensure that the plan is rigorous and well justified? Besides learning about educational planning, I hoped to develop relationships with members of education communities. Studying in the same class with frequent interaction and exchange of ideas will increase our level of understanding of the roles and responsibilities each member has assumed in their organizations. This will lead to better understanding of our organizational roles in managing education. This better understanding and relationship will probably increase opportunities for future collaboration.

You are completing the ESP distance programme while continuing to work at your job. Has the programme helped you in your day-to-day work? If so, how?

K.A: I work in an NGO focusing on capacity building for schools and educational agencies in improving education. The knowledge and skills I’ve gained in educational planning has enabled me to develop a systematic plan taking into consideration both social and economic dimensions. Placing high importance on holistic and participatory approaches when conducting an educational sector diagnosis has helped me pay more attention to each subsector rather than the sector of interest alone. The reinforcement on engaging participation by different stakeholders has widened my perspectives on the importance of different players’ roles in the planning process.

I have learned a considerable number of educational indicators. In the past, my knowledge was limited to student outcomes and instructional quality. The programme has introduced me to diverse indicators related to measuring educational efficiency. I have learned about a number of indicators which I was not aware of when presenting the current situation analysis. All of these widen perspectives and have helped me develop a better plan and strategies when working with government agencies and private sectors to improve the quality of education.

Has this programme allowed you to enlarge your professional network? Has the cooperation with the other programme participants been helpful? If so, how?

 K.A: The network that I have known from the programme is totally new contacts. I have known them by organizational names but have never been in contact with. During the group study, I have learned a great deal from these members. They have shared insights of the current education system which was new information to me. The relationship built from the programme will help me get them involved when I implement educational programmes in the future.

One person approached me and showed her interest to work with my institute. We had a conversation about the common principles we shared about the work and possibilities of how we could collaborate. She is interested in skill building for principals, which is a relevant area to my work. We plan to set up a meeting between management of our organizations within several weeks.

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* The Kenan Institute Asia is a Thailand-based, non-profit development organization working to promote results-oriented, sustainable development in Asia with an emphasis on the Greater Mekong Subregion. K.I.Asia provides project management, consulting, training, and research services for corporate, government and multilateral clients.  Focus areas include entrepreneurship, business and economic development, education, public health, and corporate social responsibility.

Experiencing the programme: participants and coordinators give their feedback and share their views (4/7)

About half of the training programme has been completed by participants in Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam. IIEP is taking this opportunity to pose questions to some participants and coordinators.

Fourth to be published: Ms. Ngo Thi Kim Phung, participant of the ESP Programme and statistician and analyst in the Department of Education and Training, An Giang Province, Viet Nam

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Ms. Ngo Thi Kim Phung, participant of the ESP Programme in Viet Nam

Ms. Ngo Thi Kim Phung, participant of the ESP Programme in Viet Nam

You have been taking part in the ESP Programme for the past six months. Could you briefly tell us what your expectations were when enrolling in this programme?

N.T.K.P: As a specialist in a Department of education and training, my daily job is collecting data from sub-sectors, analysing the data and giving advice to my leaders to build an educational plan for the province (adapted to the country’s plan). When enrolling in this programme, I hoped that I could improve my knowledge about education planning, to have a logical thinking about education planning. I would be able to explain why I must do this or not do that when making an educational planning. I could understand more clearly the main stages of educational planning. I would envisage the main actors, the tools involved in the preparation and monitoring of educational plans. From what I could learn, I would compare with my experiences and that would improve my professional competence day by day.

For the past six months, I have learned many interesting things about educational planning such as the theories, approaches, statistics, ESD… What I have learnt from Module 1 to Module 3 of the programme makes me excited about the next steps of the programme because educational planning is a closely systematic job that I have just known half way.

You are completing the ESP distance programme while continuing to work at your job. Has the programme helped you in your day-to-day work? If so, how?

N.T.K.P: As mentioned above, the ESP programme has helped me a lot in my work. I can compare my tasks with what I have learnt, and, with my new knowledge, I can immediately adjust my work. For example, the concept of “wastage rate”, which Vietnamese educational planners have never mentioned, will be really useful for us in the future. Moreover, the concept of angles of analysis is also interesting for my day-to-day work.

Up to now, from the programme, I can realize that educational planning is the job with a basic foundation: the main steps of ESP are clearly defined, the data are logically calculated, the problems and challenges are systematically diagnosed. I can add many good things to my job. Especially, with my statistical tasks, I have adjusted by calculating many useful indicators such as student-year, wastage rate, survival rate, coefficient of efficiency, etc. Besides, I analyse the situations and the challenges in relation to finance, human resources ant all of this is really attractive to my supervisors.

Has this programme allowed you to enlarge your professional network? Has the cooperation with the other programme participants been helpful? If so, how?

N.T.K.P: If I can, firstly, perform better in my current job, I can, secondly, give good advice to my supervisors in preparing an educational plan. Potentially, I may prepare a draft plan which may make progress for the province and for the country. The cooperation with the other programme participants has been very helpful. The participants come from various organizations: Department of Education and Training, NGOs, Institutes, etc. Each member has her/ his experience about educational planning. We share experiences each other and discuss about the content of the programme. During the group activity, each participant prepares her/his own response, and then we compare with each other. We discuss and find out the correct answer. In this way, we have a comprehensive report about our country’s educational policy and planning, and it helps us also understood profoundly the courses.