Nguyễn Xuân An Việt. — Photo qdnd.vn
Nguyễn Xuân An Việt, Deputy Director for the Political Education and Pupil and Student Affairs Department, under the Ministry of Education and Training, talks to Quân đội Nhân dân (People’s Army) newspaper on the need to have a healthy internet environment for Vietnamese youngsters
Can you give us your overview on the internet usage of Vietnamese pupils and students?
A 2018 survey conducted by the Ministry of Education and Training indicated that 92.5 per cent of university students and 85 per cent of secondary students nation-wide are frequent visitors to Facebook, Zalo, Yahoo, YouTube, Zingme and others. Of which 26 per cent spend less than 60 minutes a day, 40 per cent spend up to between 60-180 minutes a day and 34 per cent spend more than 180 minutes a day. The report also shows that 45 per cent of students visit Facebook in any of their available time meanwhile 12 per cent of students only visit Facebook when they receive notifications.
We all agree that the internet is a modern tool for people to relax and connect with their friends. In addition, social networking is also an effective resource and tool to help in their studies and to learn life skills, including professional skills.
However, the internet and the social network have left negative impacts on users, particularly the psychology of students, particularly young students.
What is the school’s role in helping students use the internet for knowledge improvement in their study and also daily life?
Many schools have taught their students how to make the best use of the internet for their academic and social life.
IT has become a compulsory subject for all schools – from grade three upward since 2018.
For example, students at grade 3 and 4, they are taught how to keep family information confidential when they use computers.
For students from grade 10th upward they are taught about copyright, ethics in using the internet and more. In addition, they are also taught how to handle certain situations in the virtual world.
Can you share with us some activities that have helped students learn how to protect themselves online?
The Ministry of Education and Training has worked closely with the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union to hold quite a few training workshops for educational establishments on how to use the internet or social networks to benefit their study or entertainment activities.
The Ministry of Education and Training has issued Decision 3296/QĐ on the approval of the project on how best to help the students use the internet for their studies from now till 2025. This is a solid foundation for all Departments of Education and Training nationwide to enhance their role in making the internet environment safe and sound for Vietnamese students. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Information and Communication signed a proposal to submit to the Prime Minister on how to protect and support young Vietnamese to develop in the virtual environment.
The Ministry of Education has also worked closely with concerned agencies to develop programmes on how to protect young children in a virtual environment. The ministry has also issued a circular on teaching and learning online, in which it has emphasised the security and safety of students. VNS