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NEWS UPDATES 2 August  2010

Vietnam to boost computer literacy

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Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Tran Duc Lai met with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in Hanoi recently to discuss expanding a pilot project to improve general computer and Internet skills in Vietnam.

Following the meeting, Lai and BMGF Global Library's Sam Sternin and Michael Aldridge said they would submit proposals to extend the project.

The agreement for implementing the five-year project extension from November 2010 to October 2015 is expected to be signed in October.

It is estimated to cost US$50 million, of which BMGF will sponsor $30 million and Microsoft, $3.6 million of software.

The extended project will invest in infrastructure at 1,500 village culture houses and 400 district and provincial libraries in 40 provinces cross the country.

It will provide these facilities with 12,000 desk computers and accessories. More than 300,000 people will be trained in computer skills and advanced office applications. The project is to design services, training content and media content to meet real demand and improve people's lives.

On Oct. 22, 2009, a web site was launched that includes information in Khmer. It provides people with socioeconomic, agricultural and market information.

The pilot project, which was implemented at three provinces – Thai Nguyen, Nghe An and Tra Vinh – provided 235 computers, including 120 for the village culture houses; 33 printers, LAN equipment and accessories.

Phan Huu Phong, deputy director of the Viet Nam Public Telecommunications Service Fund (DVVTCI) and director of the pilot project, said most of work in the pilot that would end in October was already finished.

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