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Vietnam Targets Higher Digital Literacy Rate

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The Director of the International Cooperation Department, Trieu Minh Long, under the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) recently said that enhancing people’s digital skills is one of the key tasks of the ministry. He was speaking at a conference on digital literacy organised by MIC in coordination with several United Nations agencies and international organisations in the country.

Digital literacy not only means the ability to use a computer but also allows individuals to actively join in information processing, the creation of content, and the sharing of knowledge via social media. The event entitled Digital Literacy: Digital Skills for the Communities was one activity in the framework of the Vietnam International Digital Week in Hanoi. Long noted that several measures have been taken to boost digital literacy, one of which is the establishment of community digital technology groups to help residents learn digital skills. Between March and October 2022, more than 61,500 such groups were set up with nearly 284,000 members. MIC and local authorities have held training courses for community digital technology groups in 55 of 63 provinces and centrally-run cities.

Furthermore, Vietnam is implementing a project on universalising digital skills and developing human resources for national digital transformation by 2025 with a vision for 2030. In April this year, MIC launched an e-learning platform on its official website.

During the conference, the Deputy Representative of UNICEF in Vietnam, Lesley Miller, stated that in the current era, digital literacy has become a basic skill that all people should have. The core of digital literacy is supporting the development of a citizen with knowledge and connectivity who is able to adapt to the fast changing needs of society, including the labour market.

A survey showed that as of early 2022, nearly 27% of the Vietnamese population still had difficulties with digital connectivity. Many children, especially girls, do not have basic digital skills. Nearly 90% of teachers in remote and far-flung areas said they have never used a modern device in teaching, which is a major hurdle to the universalisation of digital skills.

At the conference, international representatives put forth recommendations to promote digital literacy, with an emphasis on the engagement of and clear definition of the role and tasks of State agencies, socio-political organisations, businesses, and the media.

Last month, Vietnam announced it would collaborate with the United Nations on digital transformation in both policy formulation and implementation. The country is willing to contribute to the UN’s policies and strategies in the field, including an initiative on a global digital agreement in the Secretary-General’s report on “Our Common Agenda”.

Vietnam can share experiences with other countries and the UN on ensuring online education during the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for future crises. The UN plays an important role in supporting Vietnam in its growth, integration, and strong participation in global progress. It offers policy advice to the government, shares Vietnam’s experience with developing countries, and introduces international experience to ensure a sustainable, green growth economy that balances economic and social development.

OpenGov recently reported that Vietnamese’s use of domestic digital platforms recorded a year-on-year rise of 23.5% in August, with 494 million users. According to data from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), Vietnamese citizens spent more than 934 million hours on local platforms, making up 13.77% of the total time they spent on all digital platforms.

On average, smartphone users spent 9.93 hours on Vietnamese digital platforms in August, up 11.44% from July and 4.67% from January this year. Five local platforms reported more than 10 million users monthly

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