Development and Learner-
Centered Education in Vietnam
Since 1986, Vietnam has been going through a period of considerable economic, political and social change with the introduction of the Government’s renovation (doi moi) policies. There has been increasing emphasis placed on the market economy, decentralization, democracy and cooperation (Helvetas, 2003). These wider policy reforms have had a profound impact across all sectors. Forestry, in particular, has become a key focus for improvement, in an effort to meet up with the challenges confronting the upland areas of the country. To address these challenges and in keeping with wider reforms, state-managed forestry began a shift towards “social forestry” or “people’s forestry” (lam nghiep xa hoi), which refers to forestry of the people carried out by local people for their own benefit. The State recognizes that farmers, previously regarded as responsible for forest destruction, are now the potent force who can best protect the forests and secure the best use of the forest land.
This emerging situation is creating a growing need for well-trained people to fulfill the new institutional requirements of the forestry sector. A new form of education and training for forestry is needed to prepare people in accepting and supporting the concept and practice of shared responsibility among rural households, extension services, research institutes, universities and the Government. An interdisciplinary capacity encourages an understanding of social principles and processes among foresters and extensionists.