Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has appealed for the best use of technological advances, making it easier for citizens to learn throughout their lives as Vietnam pushes ahead with building a life-long learning (LLL) society.

He made the call at a national conference in Hanoi on December 17 that discussed the vision and action needed to build a society of LLL which encompasses learning at all ages and includes formal, non-formal and informal learning.

The event was held as Vietnam is integrating into the world economy, especially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that will materialise its community by 2015.

In 2005, the Government adopted the LLL society strategy until 2010 and has recently passed through its extension to 2020, with clear responsibilities of ministries and agencies involved.

He suggested vulnerable groups like women, ethnic minority communities and those living in disaster-prone areas be given priority during the process.

Dam asked scientists, education professionals and policymakers to pinpoint major obstacles while calling for input from home and abroad on the strategy.

Inter-sectoral approaches were raised during the discussions, visualising how a learning society will come out and develop in light of the best international practices.

United Nations Country Director in Vietnam Pratibha Mehta praised Vietnam’s commitment to building a LLL society model, which she said will keep Vietnam off the “middle income” trap and shift its economy to one led by technology and professional skills.

Delegates from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Thailand also shared relevant perspectives and experiences from their own countries. According to them, the model should be driven by financial means and interactive communities involved.

The event was a joint effort by the National Steering Committee on Building a Learning Society, the National Council on Education and Human Resource Development, the UN in Vietnam and the UNESCO Institute of Life-Long Learning.-VNA