Advancing information technology and computer science education for all youth

09:00 | 24/08/2018 Science - Technology

For many young Vietnamese living in rural areas, the journey to school is not always easy. One of the challenges facing the Vietnamese government is making sure that Vietnamese youth who are part of the 53 ethnic minorities in the country are not left behind in the adoption of ICT.

The program empowers educators like Thu’s teachers through training. The instruction sessions use a ICT and computer science curriculum that includes topics such as IT applications, video making, 2D and 3D graphics, 2D and 3D visual programming and online safety.

advancing information technology and computer science education for all youth
Bui Thi Thu is one of more than 150,000 students who have overcome the difficult journey to participate in the YouthSpark Digital Inclusion project over the last two years. Thu is a Muong ethnic girl who lives in the mountainous region of Hoa Binh, one of the northern provinces in Vietnam. Where she lives, there is no television or Internet at home, and she does not own a smartphone. Yet, she leaves home at 6 AM to get to school, where she can access computers and is trained on ICT and computer science skills

After two academic years (2016-2017 and 2017-2018) the project has allowed access to the most updated ICT and computer science knowledge and active training methods to approximately 800 teachers and 150,000 students from 421 schools in 12 provinces including Hoa Binh, Thai Nguyen, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Lam Dong, Khanh Hoa, Soc Trang, Kien Giang, An Giang and Ho Chi Minh City. The project’s curriculum, training methods and implementing experiences in localities are also important in improving the quality of IT education. On August 24, 2018, the seminar “Sharing the Results of the YDI Project for IT Education in Secondary Schools” was held in Hanoi with the participation of representatives of the MoET and the Department of Education and Training (DoET) in 12 provinces, as well as other education experts. The discussion results in the seminar are expected to be fundamental to the innovation in ICT education, which not only enhances the teaching capacity of teachers but also ensures the quality of training and encourages students to pursue careers in technology.

“We highly appreciated the great efforts of the project partners as well as other stakeholders including DoETs, schools, experts, and educators. The project curriculum and teaching methods not only inspire students, but also incorporates the compulsory curriculum in an extremely effective way, creating a positive resonance that makes students more likely to study, learn better and become more creative in schools,” said Mr.To Hong Nam, the Deputy Director of the ICT Department of MoET said.

advancing information technology and computer science education for all youth
Mr. To Hong Nam, Deputy Director of IT Department, Ministry of Education and Training

Ms. Le Hong Nhi, Lead of Microsoft Philanthropies in Southeast Asia, shared "Being the co-developer of the curriculum, Microsoft is committed to contributing to the long-term development of IT education in Vietnam. Every child, regardless of region, through education, deserves to have access to the most updated ICT and computer science knowledge to be ready for the best careers in the 21st century."

Ms. Ngo Minh Trang, the Deputy Director of Vietnet-ICT explained that : “In the coming time, the project will continue to improve its curriculum, develop the project’s e-learning platform (digitalskill.vn), digitalize the training materials and replicate the project model to many other provinces. We hope to have more lessons learned to compare and contribute reference resources for other IT training programs and projects.”

Launched in 2016 by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), Microsoft Vietnam and Information and Communication Technology Centre (Vietnet-ICT), the YouthSpark Digital Inclusion project aims to develop computer science and ICT skills among young Vietnamese by training more teachers to impart high quality digital skills training.

T.H