Students majoring agriculture learn how to take care a sheep
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s strategy of sustainable agricultural and rural development from 2021 to 2030 with the vision to 2050 is targeted at the agricultural sector’s Gross Domestic Product growth rate at 2.5 percent-3 percent a year and the labor productivity growth rate of the industry averagely at 5.5 percent -6 percent annually.
Moreover, by 2050, Vietnam will be among the world's leading agricultural countries. However, the training of agricultural engineers, in reality, is facing many challenges at an alarming state.
Principal of An Giang University under the Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City Vo Van Thang said that in the last recent three years, the school's qualifying scores for agricultural majors were only 14-16 points. Although the score is low, a few students enroll in the agriculture faculty.
Similarly, many universities under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other universities with agricultural training faculty have enrollment rates achieving 30 percent-35 percent of their quota. According to the forecast, this year’s enrollment will not be better.
Associate Professor Vu Hai Quan, Director of Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City said that the National University of Ho Chi Minh City has just signed an agreement with the People's Committee of An Giang Province in the Mekong Delta on strengthening cooperation in scientific research and technology transfer, database sharing, effective application of research results as well as developing high-quality human resources for agriculture and rural development.
However, after understanding the status of training in agricultural sectors, he said he was confused at the low qualifying scores in agriculture faculty in the last few years as the qualifying score is so low compared to other majors but just a few students want to study agriculture. Vietnam is taking heeds of development of high-tech agriculture, sustainable agriculture, and modern agriculture whereas training of agricultural engineers is so poor; he is afraid that the country will bump into difficulties.
At the Nong Lam University (University of Agriculture and Forestry) in Ho Chi Minh City, majors such as Animal Husbandry, Rural Development, Forestry, Forest Resource Management, Agronomy, and Forest Product Processing Technology have low qualifying scores. From 2019, students with marks from 16 to 18.25 can study in these majors.
Can Tho University, considered a prestigious and strong school in agricultural training for the Mekong Delta region, is in the same situation as faculties such as Soil Science, Livestock, Agronomy, Vegetable and Landscape Technology, Animal Husbandry, and Agribusiness have low qualifying scores.
Similarly, qualifying scores into the Vietnam National Academy of Agriculture’s majors Plant Protection, Aquatic Pathology, Animal Husbandry, Animal Husbandry, and Agricultural Economics. Rural Development, Veterinary Medicine, Fisheries from 15-18 since 2019.
Furthermore, Hue University, Da Nang University, and Thai Nguyen University with agricultural faculty have low qualifying scores of 14 but not many students have registered in these faculties.
Lecturer Vo Van Thang from An Giang University said that through a survey, many students said that after graduation, they will go to Ho Chi Minh City to find a job because of many opportunities. This is very realistic, but educationists feel sorry because the locality lacks human resources, enrollment and training are not enough, but students choose to go to HCMC to work instead of contributing to the local development. This shows that localities in the Mekong Delta have no incentive and incentive policies to retain human resources with agricultural expertise.
According to Dr. Duong Ton Thai Duong, Deputy Head of the Training Department of the National University of Ho Chi Minh City, the problem of human resources must be put on top to achieve the goals set by the Resolution of the 13th National Congress of the Party.
Without high-quality human resources, it is difficult to implement goals for high-tech agriculture, sustainable agriculture, and the agricultural economy. In particular, innovation in agricultural training programs is needed to meet the country’s goals.