All educational institutions from pre-schools to universities nationwide will be connected to the Internet by a fibre optic infrastructure provided free of charge by telecom group Viettel.

This was announced at the signing ceremony for an agreement on co-operation between Viettel and the Ministry of Education and Training in Hanoi on May 27.

The agreement followed a previous programme to provide schools with Internet access, which has been implemented from 2008 to 2013.

To date, Viettel has provided Internet connections to nearly 30,600 educational institutions across the nation, with 81 percent of those using broadband Internet services. It was estimated that more than 25 million teachers and students at these educational institutions would be able to access the Internet for teaching and learning.

Under the new agreement, 100 percent of educational institutions in the country, from the elementary to the tertiary education level, will have access to the Internet via the fibre optic cable network by 2015.

Viettel will also co-ordinate with the ministry to boost comprehensive IT applications from the central to the local level and across the education and training sector.

Since 2010, Vietnam has been listed among the top ASEAN countries, with a high level of Internet connectivity in its education and training sector.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Pham Vu Luan said the picture of the education sector has changed completely over the past five years, having become a modern sector. Everyone can now access the Internet.

Viettel General Director Nguyen Manh Hung claimed the group had implemented an ambitious plan to have each Vietnamese household connected by a fibre optic cable network, with access to hundreds of high-quality channels.

Hung noted that education and training programmes would be broadcast on television channels to all households or to individuals through their smart phones. Vietnam's students, therefore, would have the opportunity to learn in any place at any time.

The use of information technology in the sector will remove the education gap between people by providing equal access to high-quality education," he added.-VNA