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E-learning methods see boom during COVID-19 pandemic

E-learning models are expected to boom amid the COVID-19 outbreak as the Government searches for new education methods, experts said.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has caused significant changes to all sectors, including education and training. To help control the spread of the virus, thousands of students in Vietnam have been off school for more than three months, so many have turned to online learning platforms.

Online learning could be a solution to the education conundrum during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr Nguyen Xuan Khanh from Oulu University.

Following this trend, online training platforms such as Viettel Study, VNPT e-learning, Topica and Hocmai have seen their number of users skyrocket.

Statistics from Viettel showed that its e-learning platform Viettel Study had been launched at nearly 26,000 schools nationwide. More than 120,000 courses had been created on the system, attracting 10,000 students.  Access to the platform had reached 3.4 million and page views had hit more than 41 million a day.

To facilitate online learning, Viettel Group has announced free 3G and 4G data for teachers and students with the Viettel Study social learning network. It has also posted free online learning content on the platform for free.

Compared to other online learning applications, Viettel Study is the only identifiable learning social network in Vietnam.

On the Viettel Study platform, teachers and students can interact with each other and access unlimited resources, while teachers can create free lectures on the system. It has been recognised by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) and the Ministry of Information and Communications to promote digital transformation in the education sector.

“Viettel will continue to offer free services for teachers and students on Viettel Study as well as 3G and 4G data even when the pandemic is over. Viettel Study has co-operated with the MoET to support e-learning at universities,” said Le Dang Dung, acting chairman cum general director of Viettel Group.
Dung said that Viettel had been cooperating with the ministry to build a digital school system since 2014.

“We expect e-learning to become a vital asset,” he added.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many difficulties, but it could also facilitate the establishment of new teaching methods and promote market development.

Assessing the trend of online learning in the near future, Viettel said that COVID-19 would push online learning, especially once the MoET issued an official circular on online teaching and learning.

“This will be an opportunity for users to see the way e-learning systems to continue to apply in fostering knowledge after returning to normal schools,” he added.

Viettel will continue to develop products by optimising the user experience, making Viettel Study an all-in-one system.

According to Ken Research, the online education market in Vietnam grew at a two-digit compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2018. With the internet penetration rate reaching 8 percent in 2019, the growth of e-learning services would reach 23.4 percent from 2019-23.

The Government has taken measures to promote the Internet of Things, Big Data, 4G, 5G and Atificial Intelligence. With the robust growth of 4G and 5G, the number of smartphone users will also skyrocket, adding to Vietnam’s online teaching infrastructure.

A representative from FUNiX said more than 40 percent of the world’s population was connected to the internet. Most of them are young people with high learning demand, giving the e-learning market massive potential. With annual revenue growth of over 40 percent, the market’s scale was estimated at some 2 billion USD.

Recent figures from Ambient Insight also revealed that with a growth rate of 44.3 percent, the e-learning sector in Vietnam even surpassed Malaysia (39.4 percent). Notably, under the new general education programme from the MoET, information technology will be included in all levels of education in the new general programme from 2020.

This is a great opportunity for domestic and foreign investors to continue investing in developing e-learning training models./