Dr Minh's Interview, Chair of Founding Committee of EMASI Schools

With many parents' cares for a new school system opening in August 2019, we have an interesting interview with Dr Huỳnh Công Minh, the Chair of Founding Committee and Superintendent of EMASI Schools, about the new school system and its unique education.

What is the educational philosophy of EMASI?

EMASI was conceived as a group of schools that combine the best of Vietnamese and international schools and offer affordable top-class education focused on developing critical skills and attributes. EMASI stands for English, Maths, Art, Science, and IT, and these are the areas we want to focus on, and do exceptionally well. We want to offer talented and committed Vietnamese children the opportunity to study in English and Vietnamese, follow the MOET academic program, and being taught by experienced teachers who are trained in modern teaching methods from developed countries and understand how to develop soft skills in children. At the same time, we believe in respecting and preserving Vietnamese culture, values, and language amongst our students.

What academic program does EMASI offer?

I feel very passionate about the strengths of the Vietnamese programme such as our Maths modules, for example, but also it has many old-fashioned elements and approaches, and therefore we modernised the curriculum for our students. They will be following the enhanced DOET curriculum as well as the Cambridge English programme for all ages to ensure they are fluent in English on graduation. In addition, we have developed an excellent program of after-school activities that ensures that EMASI students develop holistically, are not just academically. Currently, we accept students up until Grade 10, and will be adding Grade 11 and Grade 12 in the next two years.

What is so special about EMASI that attracts so many parents?

A number of things. Firstly, our English programme offers an above-average, intensive English learning with at least 25% of periods are taught in English for all year groups, while most other non-international schools offer 6-12 periods in English per week only. Secondly, we invest in our teacher training and have international education experts who train all teachers intensively in American teaching methods. This ensures that our students focus on understanding key concepts rather than on just memorising facts, and can develop soft skills that are so important for life nowadays. Thirdly, we have exceptional high-quality facilities that match and in many cases even exceed the standard of leading international schools in the city, both in terms of their quality and design, and in terms of their variety. Parents and students are wowed when they see them, and we are very proud of our schools.

How are EMASI teachers recruited and trained?

I am personally in charge of teacher recruitment, and I want the best teachers that can be found in Vietnam for our schools, whatever it takes. A good teacher can foster a student’s lifelong love for learning and unlock the student’s full potential, and therefore it is very important to have the best specialists in place to teach our students.  I recruit experienced, committed, and passionate teachers, and all of them undergo an intensive, 2-months’ training before joining the school, that helps them to understand and apply modern teaching methods that are used so effectively in the US, the UK, Australia and some modern teaching methods from other developed countries today. This training helps them to develop critical skills and attributes in our students, not just teach them their subjects.

Can you tell us more about the future plans of EMASI Group of Schools?

We are planning to open a number of new campuses in HCMC in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, and have already secured great locations for our new sites. We are confident that our school philosophy is unique and appealing, and will transform the education in Vietnam. Therefore, longer-term we are considering our expansion plans for other major cities in Vietnam and beyond. We aim to become the leading group of modern Vietnamese schools in Vietnam within the next few years, and our senior leadership team are very motivated and looking forward to this challenge.

About Dr Huỳnh Công Minh:

Dr Huỳnh Công Minh has more than 45 years of experience in Vietnam education sector, and worked as Head of Bùi Thị Xuân, Củ Chi, and An Lạc schools in HCMC before being appointed Director of the Education Office of District 10 in 1987. He was then promoted to become the Manager in 1995, and then the Deputy Director and Director of HCMC’s Department of Education & Training DOET, where he led the department and spearheaded the education reform to modernise Vietnamese curriculum. Accepting the role of the Superintendent of EMASI Schools in 2017, Dr Huỳnh Công Minh is also the Deputy President of Vietnam Educational Psychology Association, a postgraduate lecturer at the University of Social Science & Humanity, and a Senior Education Consultant & Expert in school education. For EMASI Schools, Dr Huỳnh Công Minh is leading the teacher recruitment, and overseeing the modernised academic programme of the group of schools, to ensure that students not only pass their exams but also grow up as dynamic, creative and confident adults with critical skills and attributes for global life in Vietnam and beyond.

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