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Vietnam to narrow digital gap with internet connection

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:08 am

Information Technology and Communication (ICT) plays an important role in poverty reduction around the world and particularly in Vietnam. Therefore, it is necessary to universalize informational technology and application in the educational system.

Students from minority schools in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau, are able to access the internet free of charge. (Photo:SGGP)

The issue relating to the universalization ICT in education, attracted many concerned people at the Vietnam National Conference Technology and Communication 2010. It is difficult to get ICT development in Vietnam, if the country fails to universalize ICT in education and develop ICT human resources.

Digital gap reduction

ICT will help the poor farmers and in particular to reduce the ‘digital gap’. It will also create opportunities to share knowledge and information, on agriculture, forestry, fishery, cultivation and animal husbandry. It will also assist with agricultural development issues such as education, training, services and e-commerce.

Over the past ten years, Vietnam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT) implemented a project of internet connection in all schools. However, the project was cancelled due to increasing costs.

In September 2008, the Military Telecom Group, Viettel announced that it would provide free internet connections to all schools and educational offices across the country. Until December 2010, Viettel completed its target to fully provide free internet connections to schools and educational offices.  The program provides more than 25 million teachers and student’s access to internet for teaching, studies and research work.

Viettel also signed an agreement with the Ministry of Education and Training, to invest in the equipment, manuals and other related documents to help train teachers in the use of the internet. Last year, schools in Dien Bien, Lai Chau, and Central Highlands region were able to connect to the internet using this program.

Dr. Quach Tuan Ngoc, Head of the Information Technology Department from the Ministry of Education and Training, said the program help schools connect to the wider world’s communities. The internet will help reduce the technologically ‘backward gap’ that can exist among some regions in the country.

Creating electronic educational programs

According to Information Technology experts, it is difficult to develop IT human resource if schools are not able to access the internet. If teachers cannot access the internet, they will not be able to teach effectively and students will not be able to research and study.

The internet connection plays an important role in developing modern education, say experts, and the use of the internet at schools will help the IT sector train more high-quality individuals.
The educational sector needs support from the IT companies and state government, said an expert.

Colonel Nguyen Manh Hung, Deputy General Director of Viettel, said Viettel would maintain and provide free internet to all schools.

Dr. Ngoc claimed that Vietnam would now be one of the few countries in the world that provides free internet access, to all its schools.

According to the 2010 report, from the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), Vietnam was ranked with Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in the use of informational technology (IT) in the educational field.

Source: SGGP

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