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Vietnam needs strategy for digital transformation in education sector

The success of digital transformation in the education sector will make an important contribution to the formation of a digital nation.

This is an opportunity for Vietnam to narrow the gap with developed countries.

 

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Director of IT Department Nguyen Son Hai

 

First steps

Nguyen Son Hai, director of the Information Technology (IT) Department under the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), said the identification codes for 53,000 education establishments, 24 million students and 1.4 million teachers have been completed.

Hai said some policies on digital transformation have brought positive results. Online training has been organized at universities, and IT application has been used at general schools.

MOET has also released instructions on teaching on TV and internet, recognizing online teaching and learning results, and allowing electronic grade books and school reports.

MOET has also cooperated to develop courseware for common use, including open courseware, with 5,000 e-lesson plans, 2,000 videos for teaching on TV, 200 experiments, 200 textbooks, 35,000 multiple-choice questions and 7,500 doctoral dissertations.

When Covid-19 broke out and social distancing was imposed, schools throughout the country quickly shifted to online teaching regime, ensuring uninterrupted teaching and learning.

“With online learning, we can review the lectures, and we don’t have to travel and save time,” said Nguyen Hung, a third-year student at National Economics University (NEU).

According to Le Viet Thuy, director of NEU’s IT Application Center, after half a year, students’ habits and thinking have changed markedly.

A survey in early August at the school found that 55 percent of students want online classes.

NEU has put nearly all learning materials into the digital courseware system to replace paper materials, which saves VND2-3 billion a year.

 

The success of digital transformation in the education sector will make an important contribution to the formation of a digital nation.

 

Bui Van Hong from HCM City University of Technology and Education said that nearly 100 percent of students and lecturers at the school use digital platforms and teaching tools.

Education sector pioneers digital transformation

Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha said digital transformation is an important task to reform the education sector and improve education quality.

At the ASEAN Labor Ministers’ Conference with the theme ‘Developing human resources for the changing world of work’ held in September, Nha said digital capability was indispensable for every student.

Digital capability affects learning performance and searching for learning materials, and promotes creativity beyond the classroom or school.

Practicing digital skills needs to be done early in elementary education, under simple forms suitable to their ages.

The education sector is building a digital capability framework for students, from preschool to general education. Students will not only practice using tools and be given knowledge, but also will develop their thinking skills and creativity.

Foreign languages and informatics have been placed in the primary education level, while STEM education has also been accelerated via projects.

Nha affirmed that online teaching will continue to be applied on a large scale.

“At present, universities in Vietnam are still using the traditional teaching method, while knowledge has not been updated. The impact will create a momentum for teachers to reform and connect with colleagues all over the world,” Nha said.

“By doing this, I believe that Vietnam will have a new generation of lecturers of an international standard in 5-7 years,” he said.

Challenges for teachers

Nguyen Tung Lam, a co-founder of Dinh Tien Hoang High School in Hanoi, said that teachers transmit knowledge but also act as a facilitator for learners.

Truong Dinh Thang, rector of the Quang Tri Pedagogical Junior College, said he feels as if he lags behind, though he is just 45 years old.

“The volume of knowledge in the IT era is enormous. Students now are very good and they know many things teachers don’t know,” he said. “Students can learn anywhere and anytime in the digital technology era."

He believes that a good teacher not only transmits knowledge, but also motivation and passion to students.

To ensure the success of digital transformation in the education sector, it is necessary to create a resolution and master plan, followed by changes at some institutions in teaching and learning models. 

Ha Anh

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