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Vietnam to digitalise education sector

Image credit: Nhan Dan

The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) plans to digitally transform the education sector, optimising task completion and boosting the sector’s overall contribution to Vietnam’s digital conversion plan.

A working session was held to discuss the implementation of tasks concerning e-government development and administrative procedural reform in the education sector. The session was between a working group under the Prime Minister, led by the Minister of the Government Office, Mai Tien Dung, and MOET leaders.

Over the last few months, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the education sector has deployed creative solutions to minimise disruption in learning. For example, promptly shifting to online platforms, adjusting the school year timeline, and organising safe and structured modes for examinations.

According to a media report, Minister Dung urged the Ministry and the education sector to continue to effectively tackle areas regarding the number of teachers and quality of teaching, compliance with new textbooks, university autonomy, and e-government development to save time and costs in administrative procedures.

According to the MOET Minister, the agency will review all unrealised tasks, restructure administrative procedures towards digitalisation, and promote the construction of e-government in the education sector. Further, it will provide public services on the National Public Service Portal to benefit learners.

The Ministry has also formulated plans and received the support of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), as well as a number of tech groups, to encourage digital transformation, leading to breakthroughs in the development of human resources and training in the sector.

In November, MOET and the Singapore-based smart contract platform TomoChain agreed to use blockchain technology to archive student records. The National Qualifications Archive program will upload all certifications achieved by Vietnam’s high school and higher education students to the TomoChain public blockchain to create a transparent and immutable record, a report explained.

Qualifications are currently managed by educational and training institutions, which often delay verification processes by recruitment agencies and human resources. Record-keeping and identity verification, applications of blockchain technology, could be applied to public administration. The new system is expected to come into effect during the school year ending in 2021.

The Deputy of MOET stated that diploma and certificate management needs to be handled with technology, which is significant for the whole of society and also cost-efficient for the diploma management system in particular, and education in general.

The archive initiative is Vietnam’s largest exploration of blockchain technology to date and marks the first instance of a public blockchain being adopted at the national level by a major government. After a trial in Vietnam, up to 1.5 million diplomas of all types granted by educational institutions under the MOET will be entered into the system.

By 2021, Vietnam aims to have complete national databases and platforms to promote national digital transformation. MIC will issue solutions to support and accelerate this, focussing on digital transformation in enterprises.

Industry experts explain that Vietnamese enterprises tend to digitalise operations in management, logistics, and marketing activities and not in production. Although there is a shift, the transformation is basic. The digitalisation rate in products and services remains low due to barriers like high costs, a lack of infrastructure for digital transformation, corporate data leakages, and a lack of qualified workers. Therefore, apart from developing infrastructure, the government needs to provide financial support for local enterprises to implement new technologies for all their core processes.

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