From 17 to 21 May the Faculty of Fishery of the Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry (HUAF), with the support of Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, conducted a training program on ‘Community Development and Skills for Young Lecturers’.
The academic education system in Vietnam provides only few opportunities for students and young lecturers to apply their knowledge in the field. The education is mainly happening in the class room and focusing on theoretical and technical knowledge.
Entering the labor market graduates face the challenges of employers’ expectations on practical experiences and the graduate’s ability to apply their knowledge in a flexible way. In 2010, HUAF assessed the situation of its students and clearly stated the lack of professional and community skills as well as knowledge on environmental laws.
HUAF is conducting a long-term project on ‘Community-based fishery and environmental protection’ in the Tam Giang Lagoon (Hue Province, Central Vietnam). The lagoon is strongly affected by the impact of environmental degradation and climate change. By mobilizing the local fishery communities in sustainable models of aquaculture and environmental protection, HUAF aims to improve the situation of the people living in the area of Tam Giang.
This project site gives students and young lecturers a chance to apply their skills in the field. During three days, more than 30 young lecturers in the field of fishery from five Vietnamese universities came together to learn about communication and community development skills as well as environmental laws. The training aimed to increase the practical skills of the young lecturers in applying tools such as qualitative assessment of the needs of a community, participatory development of plans, mobilizing community action, working in groups, presentation skills etc. After the training the participants had the chance to test the new knowledge in the field. Three groups went to three different communes in order to work with the local villages and cooperatives. The lecturers discussed the situation, interviewed the fisher men and women, drafted a problem analysis and ideas for solutions. On the last training day – back to the class room – the groups presented their results. All participants agreed that it was an important and interesting experience. By having joint such training they hope to contribute to improve the teaching in their schools.
The training course is integrated into a larger project that also trains last-year students and supports the development of a revised curriculum in Management of Environment and Aquatic Resources. (02.06.2011)