Rana Flowers, Chief Representative of UNICEF in Vietnam, said Vietnam is leading other countries in digital transformation in the education sector.
The expert said on the sidelines of the conference on digital transformation in ASEAN’s education sector that she is impressed by the great efforts and quick reactions of the Vietnam’s education sector in organizing online classes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rana Flowers, Chief Representative of UNICEF in Vietnam
80 percent of Vietnamese students can study online
Nearly 50 percent of universities in Vietnam have organized online classes. In disadvantaged areas, teachers make videos of lessons and post on YouTube, Zalo, Facebook, or send to students through other apps. They even compose lesson plans, photocopy lessons and visit to see students and give home exercises.
OECD’s PISA report on September 29 showed that there are many positive points in Vietnam’s online teaching organization compared with other countries and territories during the Covid-19 period. More than 79 percent of students learn online, higher than the average level of OECD countries (67.5 percent).
She said she admired the great efforts made by teachers in remote areas of Vietnam. As the internet still cannot reach students in these areas, they have to travel long distances to bring home exercises to students to ensure uninterrupted learning.
The difficulties and challenges raised by the pandemic have promoted online teaching and ignited renovation.
However, a representative of UNICEF in Vietnam said the country needs to make greater efforts to catch up with new trends and to be sure that all children and people can study and
benefit from education.
Few young workers have skills for the new circumstances
Rana Flowers said the 4.0 industrial revolution requires workers to have 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving skills, and communication and teamwork skills.
The expert said that many businesses and employers in Vietnam say Vietnamese graduates have very good learning achievements, but find it difficult to find young laborers with the skills necessary for the new circumstances.
Some work is expected to be done by robots and machines thanks to the development of AI. However, skills such as communication, and problem detection and problem solving can only be implemented by humans.
She said teachers need to change their way of teaching. In the new era, teachers' active role will be required at a higher level, because the model of a traditional class where teachers talk and students repeat what the teachers says will be eliminated.
Instead, Vietnam’s education system will be integrated with both traditional methods and new skills to be sure that all children can study, obtain digital skills, and obtain ‘literacy in technology’.
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.
Vietnam has been warned of great challenges when developing online teaching, but it believes that these can be overcome.