Digital Transformation: Opportunities and Challenges to TVET in Vietnam
From 14 to 15 November, 2020 in Ho Chi Minh City, the Workshop on "Digital Transformation for TVET in Vietnam" was co-organised by the Vietnamese-German Cooperation Programme "Reform of TVET in Vietnam" and the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET) under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA). The interactive workshop involved 53 delegates including leaders of the DVET, the Authority of Information Technology under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), the Vietnam Software and IT Services Association ( VINASA), Rectors, Vice Rectors and key leaders from 11 partner TVET colleges, together with consulting and training experts.
In the opening speech, Dr Truong Anh Dung, Director General of DVET emphasised on Decision No. 749/QD-TTg dated June 3, 2020 and Directive No. 24/CT-TTg 28/05/2020 of the Prime Minister on the implementation of digital transformation in the TVET sector. With the orientation of doubling the scale in TVET from 2.2 million per year, DVET has made the target that over 70% of learners will be equipped with information technology skills. To reach this target, Dr Truong Anh Dung highlighted that digital transformation must come from "the right perception".
Professional experts believed that digital transformation is an inevitable trend, the "last chance" for Vietnam that creates an overall and comprehensive impact on many fields and various aspects of life. Dr Nguyen Nhat Quang, Vice President of VINASA affirmed: “Digital transformation will create a fundamental change on the work process, organisational structure, products and services, and also relates to the organisation's survival. Therefore, it really needs a direct leadership of the top leader and integration of the core strategies of the organisation”.
In the group discussion, leaders analysed some of the strengths in TVET for the implementation of digital transformation: the conscience of the leaders, ICT infrastructure in some TVET colleges, business cooperation mechanism, professional autonomy and competence in IT applications. On the other hands, shortcomings include unequal digital competence of staff and learners, the lack of specific plans and strategies on digital transformation and integrated database systems as well as limitations in the legal system and awareness on digital transformation.
Despite many challenges, digital transformation opens up opportunities for change, learning best practices from advanced or developed countries, support from national efforts and access to new technologies. Dr Christian Hoffmann, GIZ's Digital Ambassador expressed: “This is the right time to start digital transformation activities at TVET institutes. TVET Institutes can start with small-scale plans, then evaluate the effectiveness and gradually expand the model. Young lecturers and young staff of the colleges should be encouraged to actively participate in digital activities”.
With the workshop closing remarks, Dr Phan Vu Quoc Binh, Deputy General Director of DVET highly appreciated the quality and achievements of the workshop. He mentioned that DVET has officially formed a Project Team on this topic, and at the same time suggested that digital transformation at both TVET system level and TVET institute level need to be carried out. The awareness raising activities on this topic should also be strengthened. Dr Phan Vu Quoc Binh proposed a communication channel for information exchange after the workshop.
With strong commitment from stakeholders, it is hoped that digital transformation will be deployed strongly in the coming time, contributing to a Vietnam’s TVET system with flexibility and openness to respond more quickly to changes from the labour market. The ultimate goal is to improve the supply of a qualified and digital literate workforce to meet the changing world of work.
This activity was held within the framework of Vietnamese – German Cooperation Programme “Reform of TVET in Viet Nam”. The Programme is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) together with the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).