Vietnam’s recent efforts to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and the determination to pioneer the digital transformation in the educational sector have been praised by international organizations and Harvard University professors.
Rana Flowers, chief representative of UNICEF in Vietnam, on the sidelines of the ASEAN-UNICEF conference on ‘digital transformation of the education system throughout ASEAN’, praised the efforts by Vietnam and its achievements in the digital transformation process.
“The solutions were figured out quickly and the actions prompt and effective. All forces of the education sector were mobilized to maintain learning activities for students during the Covid-19 pandemic. In my opinion, it has been a great effort,” she said.
Prof Jean-Marc Lavest, Asia Pacific director of Francophone University Agency (AUF), commented that Vietnam’s education sector analyzed the context quite well, which allowed it to make preparations and take the right steps.
Prof Fernando Reimers from Harvard University said he collaborated with partners in many countries around the world to conduct a study of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on education systems in the world that have done well in the pandemic.
“We chose Vietnam as an example for other countries to learn experience from,” he said.
The professor praised Vietnam’s efforts in seeking new ways of learning and using different tools, including online teaching, TV, radios and courseware to be sure that students can continue their study without interruption.
During the pandemic, Vietnam put great effort into initiatives and actions to reach the most inaccessible students.
At the same time, it considered the challenge as an opportunity to change priorities, rebalance the curricula, look back and identify what skills are needed, and focus on cognitive skills and social- emotional skills.
Affirming the importance of enhancing solidarity and mutual assistance between countries, Reimers said he was delighted to see Vietnam showing leadership in the region when initiating and joining with regional education ministers to seek effective solutions for the region.
In order to succeed with digital transformation in education, Reimers stressed that digital transformation is not the destination, but a tool that leads to the destination.
“I hope that Vietnam will continue the process of learning to understand what competencies students need to develop and use those competencies to carry out the digital transformation process,” he said.
He suggested that now is the right time to think of the skills that need to be developed, such as self-direction, self-recognition skills, cooperation and problem-solving ability.
According to Jean-Marc Lavest from AUF, lecturing is an important factor in this context. It is necessary to switch from live lecture to online lectures. This will be difficult in digital transformation and needs to be solved with the participation of many agencies.
Thai Van Thanh, director of the Nghe An Education and Training Department, said if there are favorable conditions, online teaching will bring big benefits, especially in remote areas.
General schools and universities have organized online teaching for the last six months because of Covid-19. However, even when the pandemic ends, online teaching will still continue.