Nguyen Luong Bang is a small High School in Mau A Ward, Van Yen District, Yen Bai province. The School is located off the Hanoi Lao Cai highway on a bumpy village road, 180km away from Hanoi. Nguyen Luong Bang welcomes 800 students every day with more than half coming from mountainous areas in the province.
Hoang Thi Thu Hoai, a Grade 12 student at Nguyen Luong Bang said, “I wish I had more time to learn computing. My family can’t afford to buy a computer so the only time I could learn computing is during our Information Technology class at school. But our school doesn’t have enough computers. Three of us share one during a lesson so our actual time in front of a computer is only five to ten minutes per lesson. I am going to college and I feel unprepared for my computer literacy. Many of my friends don’t know how to create a Powerpoint presentation when they are tasked to create one.”
Le Thi Thanh Binh, Deputy Head of Education and Training Department (DoET) in Van Yen revealed that Van Yen District’s goal is to digitalise education but they have encountered many obstacles including poor internet infrastructure and insufficient computer quantity leading to low computer literacy. Nguyen Luong Bang, the leading High School in the province, has only 20 old computers for its 800 students with some broken waiting to be fixed.
This situation is unfortunately shared by many schools in the northern regions of Vietnam, especially for schools in mountainous areas. Ngan Son District at the northeastern side of Bac Kan province has 29 schools with nearly 11,000 students from Early Years to Grade 9. Nine out of their 10 villages are considered disadvantaged.
Understanding the difficulties that Vietnamese local schools in the North were facing, UNIS Hanoi donated 450 used laptops in good condition at the beginning of April to schools in six provinces including Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Tuyen Quang and Son La.
This donation was welcomed by Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) as part of their ‘Dreams for Children’ programme – an initiative that supports school enhancements.
Explaining the reason for the donation, Do Thuc Uyen – UNIS Hanoi Senior Manager Government and Business Affairs said, “With the used laptop donation project, we hope to join hands with MOET in making Vietnamese children’s dreams come true.”
The “Dreams for Children” programme was launched in January 2021 to build a safe, friendly school environment for schools in need and further support student learning. This programme’s first phase (2021-2025) was promoted by the MoET and approved by the Vice Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam. Ms Uyen added, “We are glad to be able to help schools improve their facilities for the benefit of their children.”
Hoang Van Chinh, Nguyen Luong Bang High School Principal, thanked the UNIS Hanoi community on behalf of schools in Van Yen province. “This valuable gift from UNIS Hanoi is a timely present to Van Yen and its schools. The 80 laptops received will help us to build computer literacy capacity for our teachers and students.”
“This is such an exciting journey which is counted not only by the number of laptops that UNIS Hanoi donated to school in Northern Vietnam but also by the warm sharing and support that we receive. We hope this is a start of a new partnership in culture exchange and professional teaching development support”, Binh Deputy Head from Van Yen DOET commented. Like Ms Binh, Ms Huong Deputy Head of Bac Kan DoET promised to maximize the usage of the laptops donated towards improving their student learning environment.
Building on the success of this project, UNIS Hanoi has decided to make the used laptop donation programme part of the school’s annual activities to further assist facilities development for Vietnamese schools in need.