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  ICT applications

IT frame provides key to distance learning

For the time being, the number of universities offering distance classes has increased from two to eight.

The recent distance education and training proposal will only reach set targets once an information technology component is applied offering e-lectures and other online study materials to students, an official from the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) has said.

Quach Tuan Ngoc, director of centre of information and communication technology under the MoET said distance education must be supported by information technology.

The proposal of distance education and training in the period 2005-2010, approved by the government on July 4, aims to offer distance education and training services to at least 20% of country's enrolled students.

Under the plan the MoET, ministries of Post and Telematics, and Planning and Investment, along with universities will execute the proposal by establishing online equipment and study materials, upgrading infrastructure and equipment at key universities to make them become key points to produce, research and develop multimedia study materials.

These agencies will also compile legal documents on managing distance education and training its staff and teachers, focusing on science, technology, and its application in production, language and informatics.

"The open distance learning classes are different now and they must be made more structured and official instead of gathering students for just a direct short term course," said Mr Ngoc.

According to the MoET, there have been 54,000 graduates from distance education and training courses in the last 10 years. Most of them still use paper materials and gather in face-to-face classes for a short time during the year.

The country has 122,000 existing students enrolled in distance learning classes, of which, 30% are living in remote and mountainous areas in Mekong Delta and Central Highlands and the remainder are employed full-time.

"With the support of online lectures and study materials it will be much easier for students to study and as a result the number of students will increase. Without IT, targets will not be reached," said Mr Ngoc.

For the time being, the number of universities offering distance classes has increased from two to eight, including Hanoi Open University, HCM City Open University, Da Nang, Hue, HCM City National, Binh Duong and Da Lat University.

Nguyen Kim Truy, director of the centre of distance study research and development under Hanoi Open University, said the state and students need to change their attitude towards using technology in distance education.

The Post and Telecommunication Institute of Technology started giving distance learning students access to technology this year.

It is expected that 2,000 students will be offered both online and direct lectures and paper examination for studies in information technology, electronics and telecommunication, and business management.

Hanoi Open University is offering seven courses of distance learning including informatics, telecommunications, accounting, English and business management.

Viet Nam Net - (21/07/2005)

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