Viet Nam: Disadvantaged students get support from Microsoft


HÀ NỘI — Over 600 youngsters have benefited this year thanks to a new venture between Microsoft and vocational training charity REACH that will provide coding and ICT training to Việt Nam’s most marginalised youth.

The project was announced on Tuesday as part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark programme, a global initiative that aims to empower young people by equipping them with computer science skills.

“Since technology has become an integral part of people’s daily lives around the world, we’re seeing a growing demand – from students, parents, teachers, governments and nonprofits – to teach youth not only how to use technology, but also how to create technology to help them become innovators and drivers of growth and opportunity in their communities,” said Yvonne Thomas, global director of YouthSpark Programmes.

“We believe all young people – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – should have the chance to access computer science education so they can learn this foundational subject matter and develop computational thinking and problem-solving skills that are critical for their future,” she said.

Under the project, Microsoft has provided financial, curriculum and technical support to roll out coding training to 240 disadvantaged students currently enrolled in REACH’s web and graphic design course in northern and central Việt Nam and a 3D modelling class in Hà Nội.

Some 460 other students undergoing training in REACH’s food and beverage, sales and marketing, and housekeeping courses will also be provided with ICT training, including skills using the Microsoft Office suite, to enhance their employability.

REACH is a Vietnamese non-profit organisation specialising in vocational training and employment for Việt Nam’s most disadvantaged youth.

Also on Tuesday, Microsoft coordinated with the Centre for Education and Development to organise a panel discussion on “Woman and information technology,” which aimed at enhancing women’ role in modern times and pushing for gender equality.

On this occasion, 80 outstanding female students majoring in computer science from the top eight universities in Việt Nam were presented Microsoft Youth Spark scholarship.

Through the programme, female students are encouraged to overcome difficulties to pursue their passion in technology, Daiana Beitler, Asia regional director of Microsoft Philanthropies, said.

In addition to financial support of US$600 per year, female students were provided with the opportunity for employment orientation, improve their foreign language skills and exchange ideas with experts from Microsoft and Vietnamese companies in the technology sector.

Recipient Phạm Thị Thu Hương, a student of University of Engineering and Technology under the Việt Nam National University, said she chose information and technology as advised by her father.

“After studying about it, I discovered that information technology can make wonderful things which connect people and create software and games. These inspire me to integrate and develop myself with technology”, she said. – VNS