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Vietnam’s education technology programme goes national

After a successful pilot, Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) will expand its education technology programme across the entire country, according to local media.

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The education technology programme is currently being used in 37 provinces and cities nationwide for 200,000 first graders.

Professor Ho Ngoc Dai, whose research guided the programme at its inception 35 years ago, is pleased about the growing adoption of the programme and the expansion nationwide.

The benefits of the programme and a successful pilot has prompted this decision, according to Deputy Minister of Education Nguyen Vinh Hien.

The programme was first applied in 1978 at the Hanoi Experiment Secondary School under the supervision of the Education Science Institute. It quickly expanded to other schools from 1990, and reached 43 provinces and cities by 2000.

While the Ministry officially stopped the programme in 2001 in a bid to standardise curriculum and textbooks nationwide, the programme continued to grow organically. In 2008, for example, Lao Cai province in the north and Tay Ninh, Kon Tum, Kien Giang, Dak Lak and An Giang in the south adopted the programme.

According to Nguyen An Ninh, Director of the Lao Cai Education and Training Department, it was a “daring move” to adopt the programme at that time as it was going against the instructions of MOET.

Sometime between 2010 and 2011, MOET returned the autonomy to schools to decide on first grade curriculum for teaching the Vietnamese language, as long as the Ministry was kept informed.

The education technology programme was first applied in four districts of Muong Khuong, Simacai, Bao Yen and Bao Thang. It significantly improved the learning of Vietnamese language by the ethnic minority students.

“Once the ethnic minority students have better Vietnamese language skills, it better facilitates the learning of other subjects,” commented Trieu Thi Hoa Dao, Headmaster of the Trinh Tuong Primary School No. 1 in Bat Xat, a rural district of Lao Cai province.

Kien Giang, a province with 1.7 million population, now applies the education technology programme at 62 primary schools, while Nam Dinh, a province in northern Vietnam with 1.83 million people, has adopted for all of its primary schools. In Hai Duong, another Northern province with 1.7 million residents, the programme has been used widely in two districts, and at some other schools in other districts.

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