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Saigon Proposes Tech Upgrades to Make Schools 'Smarter'

The government is calling for "smart schools" across Saigon. But can the city actually pull it off?

In the past few years, the government of Ho Chi Minh City has set some ambitious development goals, with the most prominent example being the perpetually stalling metro project. The goals are part of Saigon's mission to achieve the designation of "smart city" by 2025.

The recently pitched education plan is similarly lofty. It imagines an education system built around digitalization and cooperative interconnection between students, parents, and schools. As early as the 2018 academic year, an established trial program would equip schools in District 1, 2, and 12 with tools like touch-screen boards and personal tablets.

"Information technology will be at the core of the smart school project," Nguyen Van Hieu, Deputy Director of the Department of Education and Training, told Tuoi Tre. "Contests for students would be designed to be done on computers and tablets. The ultimate goal is to establish a complete online interactive environment."

The project is currently pending funding approval from the municipal People’s Committee.

Between public transport and healthcare innovation, the tech-centric school plan might be one of Saigon's more manageable objectives. In the next few years, success in the project could be a litmus test of how close the local government can get to achieving its goals.

[Photo via Doi Moi Sang Tao]

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