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Vietnam Launches ‘Internet Connection and Computers for Students’ Programme

A programme called ‘Internet Connection and Computers for Students’ was recently inaugurated at an online ceremony, chaired by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. The project calls for increased support for students who cannot afford computers as online learning becomes a part of the “new normal”. The programme aims that by the end of this year, the whole country will be connected to the Internet. As many as one million disadvantaged students will be equipped with electronic devices for online learning. In the 2022-23 period, no students will lack computers for online learning.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Information and Communications, the programme implements the Prime Minister’s direction on prioritising and supporting disadvantaged students who lack online learning facilities. It ensures fairness in accessing new teaching and learning methods, thereby contributing to the development of a digital society. In response to the Prime Minister’s call, Hanoi has implemented a similar programme. It has received support from different organisations. Specifically, the Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) provided 25 laptops worth VNĐ270 million (US$11,800); the Nam Tu Liem District Women’s Union donated VNĐ50 million (US$2,100); the Ha Dong District Women’s Union gave VNĐ10 million (US$440); and the Tay Ho District Women’s Union presented 20 tablets worth VNĐ42 million (US$1,800) and other learning equipment.

Other districts’ women’s unions have also presented 115 electronic devices including computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones to students in Quoc Oai, Ba Vi, Dan Phuong, Dong Anh, and Gia Lam. According to a representative, the union encourages organisations, enterprises, and individuals to support the programme with new or old electronic devices.

The release further stated that the Hanoi Women’s Union organised a training course for parents to help their children understand and navigate online learning. The Ba Dinh District Education and Training Division worked with the district red cross society to present 235 computers to students in the district. Several schools also joined the programme. One particular junior secondary school launched a programme, under which would buy 11 computers, each worth VNĐ7.1 million (US$312), for students that require financial support. They would also receive VNĐ2 million (US$88) to install Internet connections. Also, the school library will be equipped with eight new computers for students to use or borrow.

Leaders from the unions and educational institutes are urging organisations and businesses to support the programme. Apart from funding for computers, enterprises could support students with software or data packages for Internet use. Further, enterprises can work with localities to give proper support to students, not only when the new school year starts but also in the long run.  Amid the fourth industrial revolution, students in remote areas will receive support from the programme, and online learning would no longer be a luxury, an official stated.

Earlier this month, a Vietnamese online tutoring platform, Marathon, raised US$1.5 million in investment for a pre-seed round. The new funding will help Marathon pilot teaching subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry for Grades 6-12 in the National Programme by the Ministry of Education and Training. This online model also makes it possible for teachers to reach more students, even in other cities. Teachers who move from tutoring centres to Marathon are believed to be able to increase their income by two to three times, as OpenGov Asia reported.


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