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Vietnam Invests in Digital Skills Education

Over half a million students across Vietnam have been taught critical digital skills and how to stay safe in cyberspace over the last three years, according to a report by the Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences (VNIES).

The report was announced at a workshop on digital skills education at schools in Vietnam jointly held by the VNIES, the Vietnet Information Technology and Communication Centre (Vietnet-ICT), and a social networking giant. The event was attended by about 380 participants, 300 of whom attended via teleconference.

The Deputy Director of the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET)’s Department of Primary Education, called for better coordination among schools, families, and society in ensuring safe and healthy cyberspace for students. News reports quoted a representative of VNIES as saying that digital skills education is becoming increasingly important as the robust evolution of technology is impacting every aspect of life and changing the ways people teach and learn. Students should be equipped with digital skills that enable them to seize the opportunity to become pioneers, the official said, adding that they must also be connected with the world of opportunities and provided with the necessary skills to succeed in a digital world.

Those with a higher skill level are likely to be more comfortable and confident in learning and their Internet safety will be enhanced as threats are always present, the official explained. It is also vital for the students to be taught about the importance of ethics of online communications and information exchange, as they are now facing challenges related to copyright, plagiarism, cyber-bullying, and fact-checking. Digital education will nurture a generation of more responsible netizens.

The report provides an impact assessment on a joint programme that aimed to raise awareness about online safety and promote digital skills needed to build a generation of strong citizens. Under the programme, more than 3,000 teachers from secondary and high schools in 39 cities and provinces nationwide were trained. They passed on what they had learnt to over 20,800 fellow educators, from 2019 to June 2022.

A manual exclusively developed for teachers was also introduced at the workshop, providing instructions on how they can design exciting lessons to educate students about digital skills and Internet safety. An expert at the event stated that the launch of the impact assessment report and the manual book on digital skills and Internet safety for teachers will offer more opportunities for the incorporation of digital citizen lessons into classes and extracurricular activities.

At the end of 2021, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) announced a collaboration to digitally transform the education sector. The two ministries said they would compile assessment criteria and information safety standards for online learning platforms. As OpenGov Asia reported, from September to November of last year, the government installed Internet connections to facilitate online learning at 1,000 locations, and installations at the remaining targeted regions were completed in January this year.  A programme launched by the Prime Minister had handed over more than 100,000 computers to help students learn online. It also accelerated the installation of Internet connections in remaining locations with a budget of some VND 3 trillion (US$ 131.54 million), while reducing online learning tuition fees totalling VND 500 billion (US$ 22 million) for some student groups.

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