Ethnic minority students on the coding journey

16:24 | 29/01/2018
The organisers have given 68 awards to schools, teachers, and students to acknowledge their efforts, creativity, and enthusiasm.
68 awards have been handed out in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

With the product “Learning English through Environmental Protection,” Bo Bo Nam, a Raglai ethnic minority student, has overtaken hundreds of other candidates from 13 provinces and won the competition “Hour of Code and YDI products 2017” in the framework of the YouthSpark Digital Inclusion (YDI) project.

The “Hour of Code and YDI products 2017” competition was launched to encourage, inspire, and seek out young talents in ICT.

It is hardly ever noticed that after classes Bo Bo Nam of the Cam Ranh ethnic minority boarding school in the south-central coastal province of Khanh Hoa spent his evenings completing his programme with the 10-year-old outdated school computer.

Despite being born to a poor farming family, Bo Bo Nam is smart and willing to learn. With his great passion for computer science, Nam was the first student to ask to borrow books for self-studying when his teacher introduced the ICT and Computer Science programme of the YouthSpark project at school.

He pre-studied the course books by himself and was fascinated with programming, especially Scratch. "I love Scratch because I find it absorbing with visual images. It is also not too difficult and abstract to learn for me."

To provide students with hands-on experience, the school's lab was open at fixed times after school. Nam was always there during those times to practice and finish his programming product.

Bo Bo Nam, a Raglai ethnic minority student, won the award for his outstanding product in the competition “Hour of Code and YDI products 2017”

The programme "Learning English through Environmental Protection" created by Nam allows students to play while studying. Besides questions related to environmental terms in English, the programme also includes relevant knowledge about environmental protection, which has been highly evaluated for its creativity and content by the judges of the contest.

Nam’s is one of many impressive stories about the journey of thousands of ethnic minority students nationwide to overcome their difficulties to participate in the YDI project.

The project has been funded by US tech giant Microsoft and has been implemented by the ICT Department under the Ministry of Education and Training and the Vietnet Information Technology and Communication Centre (Vietnet-ICT) since 2016.

After more than two years of implementation, over 1,500 teachers and nearly 200,000 students in disadvantaged areas of 14 cities and provinces across the country gained access to innovative learning methods and updated content on IT, computer science, and global integration.

“The results of the project over the past two years have shown that the introduction of computer science and IT to young people in remote areas and to ethnic minorities is necessary,” said Le Hong Nhi, Citizenship manager of Microsoft Vietnam.

“Young people are equipped with the IT skills and can master computer science and develop programmatic thinking to solve practical issues in their areas. Through this project, Microsoft hopes to promote opportunities for the younger generation of Vietnam, especially disadvantaged communities, to be ready to embrace the digital revolution,” Nhi added.

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By By Anh Duc

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