Digital era has made English language and computer skills essential tools for participating in international environment of studying and working. Vietnam is in need of a human resource that possesses advanced specialized knowledge as well as good English and computer skills to support the country’s integration in global economy. Therefore, international-standard English and computer proficiency have become a vital need from the very first grades of the schooling.
The improvement of English and computer literacy of students must go hand in hand with the enhancement of teachers’ professional skills. This requires international- standard assessing tools in teaching of both foreign language and information technology (IT) in schools. To this end, a firm determination and strategic view of decision makers play decisive role.
In the implementation of the “National Project on Foreign Language by the year of 2020”, promulgated by Prime Minister with regards to the enhancement of English level of teachers and students and IT in education in HCM City, the Department of Education and Training of Hochiminh City has made a comprehensive breakthrough in applying international standards to improve English and computer skills of teachers and students of the city. September 20th 2013 saw the Ceremony of signing Memorandum of Understanding of enhancing English and Information technology proficiency for teachers and students of Hochiminh city up to International standards between HCMC Department of Education and Training and IIG Vietnam. The ceremony took place at Meeting Hall of the Department with the participation of representatives from international organizations such as Educational Testing Service (ETS – US), Certiport (US), National Geographic Learning (US), Microsoft (US)…, local leaders and authorities, such as People’s Committee of Hochiminh City, Ministry of Education and Training, HCMc Department of Education and Training -, and representatives from Divisions of Education and schools in the region.
The MOU confirms the determination of HCMc Department of Education and Training to improve foreign language and computer proficiency for teachers and students in HCMc. The MOU contains the following points:
- In area of Foreign language, Department of Education and Training – HCMc recognizes:
– TOEFL Primary to be included in current English proficiency assessment system of students in primary schools of HCMc; TOEFL Junior to be used for secondary students; and TOEFL iBT or TOEIC to be used in assessing English proficiency of high school students who aim for foreign or local educational programs.
– TOEIC and ELTeach to be used as tools of assessing English proficiency and pedagogic capability of English language teachers in HCMc;
– TOEIC to be also used as a standard of measuring and improving the quality of education and training for colleges and vocational schools.
– HCMc Department of Education and Training will gradually apply English Discovery Online program (EDO) in order to enhance students’ English proficiency and improve teaching methods in schools.
With an aim of enhancing interaction between teachers and students as well as the quality of teaching English, Sanako laboratory learning software will be trialed at a number of advanced schools in the city.
- In the area of Information Technology
– For students: IC3 Junior test to be applied as standard of assessing computer proficiency of primary students; IC3test for secondary school students; MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) and ACA(Adobe Certified Associate) for high-schools. IC3is recognized as a graduation benchmark for college and vocational school students.
For teachers: IIG Vietnam will organize training programs and issue certificate of teaching IC3 and MOS. Besides, the Department will gradually have all its teachers certified for IC3.
It is also confirmed that a series of annual English language and computer literacy contests will be co-organized by HCMc Department of Education and Training and IIG Vietnam in order to encourage and nurture talents in the English language and IT education of the city. The use of TOEFL test will provide accurate assessment of quality the learning of English in the area and outline a clear orientation for students’ further education. MOS contests will be held annually to select a delegation to participate in national and international MOSWC (Microsoft Office Specialist WorldChampionship).
Mr.Lê Hồng Sơn. –Director of HCMc Department of Education and Training –has revealed the reason for appointing IIG Vietnam to be the partner,: “Because IIG Vietnam is a prestigious testing organization in Vietnam, a representative of major international organizations such as ETS, Certiport… The process of collaboration between the Department and IIG Vietnam in improving English language and computer proficiency of teachers and students in Hochiminh cityhas proved that IIG Vietnam is the most capable and appropriate organization and shares thepassion for a developed education”.
At the ceremony, representatives of ETS and Certiport very much appreciated the view of People’s Committee of HCMc and Department of Education and Training in carrying out this co-operation and committed to provide utmost support to IIG Vietnam and the Department in order to successfully implement this MOU.
As part of the ceremony, the seminar “Solutions to enhancing foreign language and computer proficiency of teachers and students” regarding the implementation of MOU terms went into details with specific discussions. This seminar has provided relevant organs, especially Divisions of Education and schools in HCM city with a better awareness of forthcoming targets and duties.
According to Mr. Đoàn Hồng Nam – President of IIG Vietnam, “this collaboration is the most systematic ever and is a landmark showing the desire for change of HCMc Department of Education and Training. With effective supports from major international organizations, IIG Vietnam commits to co-operate with Department of Education and Training – HCMc to successfully implement this MOU”. “I strongly believe that HCM city will possess a highly qualified human resource, which perfectly meets requirements of the society”.