Statistics from the Vocational Education Bureau (under the National Council for Education and Human Resources Development of the Ministry of Education and Training) on nearly 1,000 education officials, over 2,000 teachers and 16,000 students in Vietnam reveal that during the period of social distancing due to Covid-19, nearly 70 percent of teachers and 84 percent of learners have completed distance education, fully proficient in the use of digital tools at this end.
Of these trainers, almost 88 percent and 71 percent applied ICT in their theoretical and practical courses, respectively. The most used solutions are presentation software and websites. This means that vocational schools, especially technical schools, have successfully used basic digital learning tools and simulation programs in their online education.
Vien Dong College Rector Tran Thanh Hai informed that the Covid-19 pandemic poses challenges but also offers great chances for vocational schools to implement IT in their training programs. Since the end of 2020, his institute has invested in virtual practice tools from Germany to meet 90% of the needs of the students of the faculty of nursing for distance learning.
Likewise, vice-rector of HCMC No.2 Technical College, Bui Van Hung, said his institute has completed training all academic staff in “digital pedagogy”, digital transformation and management with the help from experts from Germany, Finland and Australia. Now, the college aims to establish a smart educational institute (with fully digital institution, modern teaching technologies, blended learning, interactive website) to serve its learners.
Experts in the field have said that there must be a coherent and synchronous strategy for digital transformation in each vocational school, based on the current infrastructure, capacity of academic staff and training programs.
However, the Deputy Director General of the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training, Pham Vu Quoc Binh, said that the proportion of knowledge and skills related to digital technologies such as IoT, AI and the Big Data is not high enough. Technical majors such as automotive engineering, refrigeration, electronics – electricity, mechanical engineering, have devoted a significant portion of their curriculum to computer programming, they do not have a clear plan to include digital skills in their core subject group.
In addition, the investment in specialized software for each major is not at all sufficient, and therefore the use of quite obsolete versions, not to mention some cracked ones.
Agreeing with the idea above, Associate Professor Dr. Do Van Dung said that at present, vocational schools mainly focus on digital learning, not on large files for store data, neither on digital media to connect to social networks, nor even on a digital campus to optimize the teaching process and easily apply to reality. Worse, the existing teaching equipment of several vocational schools cannot meet the demands for digital training since libraries and workshops still use the traditional operating model.