Gov't meeting focuses on higher education development

Ha Noi, Nov. 27 (VNA) -- Prime Minister Phan Van Khai chaired a cabinet meeting in Ha Noi today, Nov. 27, to discuss a scheme on university and college development up to 2010 and hear the report on socio-economic development in November and the last 11 months.

Addressing the meeting, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of education and training in a knowledge-led economy, which, he said, would be matter of fact in the 21st century.

The Government leader unveiled an agreement reached at the freshly-concluded ASEAN Informal Summit in Singapore on concentrated assistance for Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar to help them develop information technology industry. The scheme, he said, had therefore to give priority of investment to software research centres in universities and colleges.

The education development masterplan should gear to national industrialisation and modernisation, namely speeding up high-quality personel training for such key sectors in a knowledge-led economy as electronics and information technology. These sectors should target growths in skilled workers of hundreds percent instead of just five percent as decided by the project reported by Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Minh Hien, Khai said.

The Prime Minister also advised planners to shortlist universities and colleges of hi-technology and techniques, those universities or colleges in service of agricultural, forestry and fisheries development and for the development of different key areas, for the Government's priority of investment in line with the masterplan for national socio-economic development for the next 10 years.

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem asked the Ministry of Education and Training to take recommendations from the Prime Minister and other cabinet members into account so as to gear the scheme on university and college development to the socio-economic development strategy of every industry, every economic sector, and every region in every development stage.

The Government also heard a report on socio-economic situation in November and in the past 11 months delivered by Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Xuan Gia.

The report said that despites the floods that ravaged Mekong delta and central coastal provinces for months, 11-month industrial production recorded a year-on-year increase of 16.5 percent, with a rise of 12.5 percent in the State-owned sector and 18.2 percent in the non-State sector. Thanks to the application of the new Enterprise Law, the country has 11,215 more enterprises. Export turnover in the past 11 months reached 101.4 percent of the yearly plan, up by 25.2 percent over the same period last year.

However, output of the autumn rice crop reduced 200,000 tonnes to 8.3 million tonnes as compared to the corresponding crop in 1999; and disbursement of foreign investment capital in the past 11 months equalled to only 93 percent of the same period last year.

PM Khai in his conclusion demanded ministries and localities focus efforts on completing their yearly plans in the remaindee of this year prepare for the 2001 plans with an aim to reach a GDP increase of 7.5-8 percent.--VNA