Youthspark project empowers ICT skills of disadvantaged children

10:17 | 21/04/2018
The project Youthspark Digital Inclusion has succeeded in narrowing the digital gap, stimulating passions, developing knowledge and skills in computer science, and encouraging young people to apply information technology in difficult areas.
youthspark project empowers ict skills of disadvantaged children
Project Youthspark Digital Inclusion's review workshop

Observing her classmates typing with one hand or one finger, Bui Thanh Tam, a student in grade 9A in Thuong Coc Secondary School in the northern province of Hoa Binh, has created a programming product named “Keyboard typing.”

In Thai Nguyen province, Hoang Duy Tien, a student in grade 9D of Nam Hoa Secondary School, has programmed the “Traffic Safety” programme in the Kodu programming language to help his classmates learn how to use their vehicles safely and legally. This is a more fun and easier way to understand traffic rules than theoretical lessons.

Tam and Tien are two of thousands of students who are approaching and starting to apply computer science to improve their learning outcomes and solve life's problems in the mountainous and rural areas of Vietnam.

The mountainous and rural areas face steep challenges in terms of development and integration. In this context, ICT education is considered the key to help people change their lives in order not to be left behind in the 4.0 Industrial Revolution.

Meanwhile, due to economic and social difficulties, students, the future labour generation, do not have many opportunities to access advanced education programmes.

Since 2016, in order to create favourable conditions for disadvantaged students to get access to modern and up-to-date ICT programmes, the ICT Department (Ministry of Education and Training), Microsoft Vietnam, and Vietnet Information and Technology Centre (Vietnet-ICT) have been implementing the Youthspark Digital Inclusion project in the difficult areas of 12 provinces.

Aiming to provide knowledge and skills to help students not only use technology proficiently but to create technology, the project has developed the ICT and Computer Science programme to pilot extra-curricular classes, including topics on Basic IT Application, Movie Making, 2D-3D Graphics, 2D-3D Programming, and Internet Safety.

The results have marked the success of the project in narrowing the digital gap, stimulating passions, developing the knowledge and skills in computer science, and encouraging young people to apply information technology.

What makes me happy is that it can help other people with the same passion for computers. I hope this product can be introduced to all classes in the school and spread to other schools.

Bui Thanh Tam, the author of the “Keyboard typing” programme, shared: “This product helps me to enhance my typing skills and also my agility, which helps to improve learning results.”

“What makes me happy is that it can help other people with the same passion for computers. I hope this product can be introduced to all classes in the school and spread to other schools, giving other students the opportunity to cultivate their skills and access technology products to integrate and develop more."

According to Ngo Minh Trang, deputy director of Vietnet-ICT, after nearly two years of implementation, the project has created widespread and remarkable changes.

In the 12 localities where the project was implemented, approximately 1,500 teachers and 108,000 students have been introduced to the ICT and Computer Science programme, with innovative content and methods.

"Microsoft has been proud to sponsor this project during the last two years. We look forward to continuing to support disadvantaged youth, providing greater access to ICT and computer science, and replicating the IT education initiatives of the Youthspark programme in Vietnam," said general director of Microsoft Vietnam Pham The Truong.

The review workshop of the project “Youthspark Digital Inclusion” took place in Hanoi today at Melia Hanoi Hotel.

By Anh Duc

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