Building digital streams of opportunities for Vietnam

By Pham The Truong, General Manager, Microsoft Vietnam. 

Tue Huy is a 15-year-old with digital skills and a passion. Earlier this year she showed me a game about road safety that she had developed for her younger brother.

Vietnam’s traffic in its cities and countryside is fast and dangerous. Huy created the game with the help of a Scratch Coding module believing that many tragic accidents could be prevented if children learn some basic safety skills.

Her passion for her game struck me: If we empowered more young individuals like her with the right tools and knowledge, they could make a massive difference in all sorts of ways.

Huy, from Hieu Hiep village in Vinh Long province, decided to become a game developer when she first stepped aboard the Enabling Boat. The vessel brings modern technologies to youth living in rural areas, whose potential in the digital age are limited by existing infrastructure. For some, the Boat is where they first used a computer or are connected to the Internet. For Huy, it has been a source of empowerment and inspiration as she develops her next big idea to improve her living environment.

I joined our partners from the provincial Department of Education and Training (DoET) and Vietnet ICT to launch the Enabling Boat for the Mekong Delta area servicing three more provinces Vinh Long, Tien Giang and Hau Giang.

Our Three-Year Journey in Creating a Brighter Vietnam

Stories like Huy’s are precious. Our mission at Microsoft is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We make this real by empowering people like her with access to in-demand skills that increase their employability.

Acknowledging our role in building a future-ready Vietnam, we committed US$3 million in 2015 to help close the digital gap. We have partnered with local authorities and nonprofits to equip young people with digital skills through training, coaching, and education in cities and rural provinces.

Skilling our young people is critical to the future of Vietnam. Our country is set to become one of the world’s top 10  fastest growing economies by 2050, largely due to a young and growing workforce and increased opportunities created by the digital revolution.

I’m pleased to see that we’ve made a step change in accelerating the digital future of Vietnam. Our efforts have seen more than 200,000 youth empowered with digital skills, with 70 to 90 percent employment rate among those who participated in our career programs. To reach scale, we have also trained more than 2,000 educators on how to teach computer science education in an inclusive way.

For the Enabling Boat project, we partnered with the provincial Department of Education and Training as well as with nonprofits Vietnet ICT and Dariu Foundation to train 210 teachers on computer science, using curricula jointly developed by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), Vietnet ICT and us. By doing so, we will be able to reach 35,000 underserved youth.

We also recognize the importance of increasing gender diversity in the technology sector. And so, we are creating opportunities for young women to access computer science. We want more to be inspired to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through hand-on experiences where they can meet Microsoft employees and other role models in the sector.

Thu, a Muong ethnic girl who lives in the mountainous region of Hao Binh, walks more than a thousand steps daily to get to school, where she is trained on ICT skills. Her teacher, Hoa, adapted a new ICT curriculum by attending workshops conducted by our partners, MoET and Vietnet ICT

Our Journey Doesn’t Stop There

Our work in Vietnam continues as we strive to upskill and reskill students and workers for the digital economy. Moving forward, we will be:

  • Supporting the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) to scale computer science education to the whole country
  • Partnering with UNESCO to promote gender-sensitive STEM education in Vietnam and beyond
  • Partnering with the Ministry of Labour Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to scale our career readiness program to national level

Providing all students with access to high quality computer science education will be a paramount to ensure that we are building the pipeline of talents that Vietnam needs to digitally transform, innovate, and thrive.

Because when everyone has the chance to reach his or her full potential, we all prosper.

Learn more about our three-year journey through this e-brochure, “For a Brighter Vietnam”.

To learn more about our Philanthropies efforts in Vietnam, visit our News Center

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