Press Release

Vietnamese youth expressed their views on the future of STEM education at STEM-SPEAK Vietnam – In partnership with UNESCO, CED & MICROSOFT

31 May 2019

Taking place at the Green One UN House in Hanoi, UNESCO experts in Futures Literacy will systematically guide participants to step out of their comfort zone and to enter the unknown by exploring alternative futures. The purpose of the training is to allow them to explore their visions and innovative thoughts and elaborate a vision of a sustainable future with STEM.

With the rapidly changing environment of Industry 4.0, young professionals need more than technical qualifications – they need to think creatively and identify innovative solutions to global challenges. It is with this in mind that the participants will turn their energies to rethink STEM education for the future. Predominately female, they come from a range of backgrounds and include students, teachers and researchers.

Through the use of creative, innovative and unconventional approaches, STEM-SPEAK aims to combat a multitude of social issues including bridging the gender gap in STEM occupations and education. It also aims to identify problems that hinder the youth, especially young girls and women, to pursue a STEM career, and propose creative solutions to address these issues.

"Technology is the key that open up various opportunities for growth and development. For Vietnam to rise and shine while racing the transformation journey, cultivating the mind of our next generation with STEM should be our top priority right now, and in the future," stressed Ms Le Hong Nhi of Microsoft Philanthropies Vietnam, "This mission should be conducted at scale, continuously and most importantly, inclusive for everyone, especially females and the disabilities."

The UNESCO Representative to Viet Nam, Michael Croft, outlines the connection to the wider context. "STEM empowers youth to drive sustainable development. Everyone needs to be involved, including girls and young women, marginalized and vulnerable groups. Everyone should have a voice."

About STEM Futures Literacy

  • UNESCO and CED seek to address the problems hindering robust and appropriate STEM programming, and aim to facilitate a common understanding and a more coordinated approach between the key partners in this area. The STEM Futures Literacy Workshop will allow selected Vietnamese youth representatives, notably female youth, to explore and make recommendations on the future of STEM through a gender lens. This is to ensure STEM is neither unreachable nor a privilege but a basis of education for youth from all backgrounds. The Futures Literacy Workshop allows youth to articulate their stand on STEM, touching upon barriers, challenges, fears, aspirations, desires, collected to create a clear portrait of youth aspirations for key stakeholder groups, including policymakers, researchers, educators and industry leaders.
  • Following the STEM Futures Literacy Exercise, the participants will present their vision for STEM programming to key partners (government, IT industry actors, etc.) at the Global Vietnamese Young Intellectual Forum expected in later 2018. This will allow partners to better calibrate their support with a view to the identified flaws, gaps and needs vocalized by youth. This initial convening of young intellectuals aiming to assess effective ways to spur Vietnam's sustainable development can serve as the start of a more institutionalized dialogue in the future.

Vietnamese youth expressed their views on the future of STEM education at STEM-SPEAK Vietnam – In partnership with UNESCO, CED & MICROSOFT

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Nguyen Thi Dung

Communications Focal Point

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

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