Half a million Vietnamese students taught digital skills, Internet safety hinh anh 1A workshop on digital skills education at schools in Vietnam takes place in Hanoi on August 19. (Photo: giaoducthoidai.vn)
Hanoi (VNA) – More than half a million students across Vietnam have been taught critical digital skills and how to stay safe on cyberspace over the last three years, according to a report by the Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences (VNIES).

The report was announced at a workshop on digital skills education at schools in Vietnam jointly held by the VNIES, the Vietnet Information Technology and Communication Centre (Vietnet-ICT) and Meta  Facebook’s parent company  in Hanoi on August 19. The hybrid event attracted some 380 participants, about 300 of whom were attending via teleconference.

In his opening remarks, VNIES Director Prof. Le Anh Vinh underscored the increasing importance of digital skills education today since the robust evolution of technology is impacting every aspect of life and changing the ways people teach and learn.

Students should be equipped with digital skills so they will be able to seize the opportunity to become pioneers, he said, adding that they must also be connected with the world of opportunities and provided with necessary skills to succeed in a digital world.

Those with good skills are likely to be more comfortable and confident in learning and their Internet safety will be enhanced as threats are always present, Vinh explained.

It is also crucial for the students to be taught about the importance of ethics of online communications and information exchange, he continued, as they are now facing challenges related to copyright, plagiarism, cyber-bullying, fact-checking and responsible interaction with others. It will nurture a generation of more responsible netizens, he emphasised.

The report provides an impact assessment on the “We Think Digital” programme, a key component of the #fb4Safety and Digital Literacy pillar of the Facebook for Vietnam campaign launched in 2020. The pillar includes programmes and partnerships to raise awareness about online safety and promote digital skills needed to build a generation of strong citizens.

Under “We Think Digital,” Meta in partnership with Vietnet ICT trained more than 3,000 teachers from secondary and high schools in 39 cities and provinces nationwide, who passed on what they had learnt to over 20,800 fellow educators, from 2019 to June 2022.

A manual exclusively developed for teachers was also introduced at the workshop, providing instructions on how they can design exciting lessons to educate students about digital skills and Internet safety.

Ruici Tio, Policy Programmes Manager for Asia-Pacific at Meta, said over the last three years, the partnership with Vietnet ICT has enabled the development of a model able to reach students and teachers on a large scale.

He believed the launch of the impact assessment report and the manual book on digital skills and Internet safety for teachers will offer more opportunities for the incorporation of digital citizen lessons into classes and extracurricular activities.

Dr. Ta Ngoc Tri, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET)’s Department of Primary Education, called for better coordination among schools, families and society in ensuring a safe and healthy cyberspace for students./.