Hour of Code inspires passion on technology for more than 70,000 Vietnamese students

20:36 | 31/01/2018 Science - Technology

After more than a month of launching, the Hour of Code campaign this year in Vietnam, has reached a record number among 4 implementation years with the participation of more than 70,000 students, 800 teachers in nearly 400 schools in 16 provinces.

This shows the effectiveness of the campaign in promoting the passion of technology, computer science for disadvantaged youth. This campaign is one of the activities organized in the framework of YouthSpark Digital Inclusion project implemented by Ministry of Education and Training, Microsoft Vietnam and Vietnet Information Technology and Communication Center (Vietnet-ICT).

The friendly and intuitive design in MineCraft (Hero’s Journey) in Hour of Code 2017 has made a great attraction to spread the program to the disadvantaged ethnic minority community, where the learning conditions are extremely difficult compared to urban areas. Many schools has only one lab room with 5-6 computers. Nguyen Thi Tam, a Xe Dang ethnic minority student from grade 6, Tra Mai ethnic boarding school in Quang Nam province, said: "I rarely get a chance to use computer. Before, I thought that only boys could be good at computer, but this time my friends and I feel very happy to complete the requirements of the lessons and get the certificate".

Female students learn programming

For Khmer ethnic minority students, Thanh Tri ethnic boarding school (Soc Trang), due to the limited time and facilities, they had to share shifts, take turns to have lunch and participate Hour of Code at lunchtime. Tran Anh Thu, their teacher, said, "Students are very excited and they understand quickly about programming concepts in an hour so I can not let them not participate. I allow the students to study at noon, study in groups, or whenever there is a free lesson in the lab room".

The widespread response to Hour of Code 2017 in Vietnam is a joint effort to raise awareness of the importance of computer science education to social and educational institutions, teachers and volunteers from 16 cities and provinces: Ha Noi, Hoa Binh, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Thai Nguyen, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Lam Dong, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Soc Trang, An Giang, Tien Giang, Hau Giang, Vinh Long and Ho Chi Minh City. In this campaign, educators, teachers and volunteers spend an hour motivating, inspiring and explaining the role of computer science in developing creative mindset, logical thinkinganalytical reasoning and complex problem solving for students. At the same time, students learn about core coding concepts like loops, debugging, and functions, using a visual block-based editor.

Ms. Le Hong Nhi, Citizenship Manager, Microsoft Vietnam shared: "Digital technology has penetrated all aspects of socio-economic life, while learning opportunities in computer science for Vietnamese youth in remote areas is still facing difficulties. Microsoft wants to help Vietnamese young generation better access to the digital revolution by fostering technology passion for children from a young age. Every child, regardless of region, age or gender, deserves access to computer science to be ready for the best careers in the 21st century".

"This is the fourth Hour of Code campaign deployed by Microsoft and Vietnet-ICT in Vietnam along with its partners and also the record-setting year for the number of participants.", said Ngo Minh Trang, Deputy Director of Vietnet-ICT, “This shows that the level of interest, the demand for computer science education is increasing in the community, as well as the support of management units, schools and teachers. It is hoped that this campaign will continue to be widely deployed and spreaded in the coming years so that computer science or programming thinking will gradually become a common knowledge and equip the necessary working skills for Vietnamese young generation.”

By launching Hour of Code, the competition “YDI products 2017” of YDI project has also opened for the students and teachers of the project in order to collect and honor the best IT and Computer Science products. 68 awards has been given to schools, teachers and students to encourage them and share inspirational stories. The award ceremonies were recently held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by the end of January 2018.