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Vietnamese youth most committed to lifelong learning in SE Asia: WEF



A student studies for her high school entrance exam in HCMC, June 2, 2019. Photo by VnExpress / Thanh Nguyen.

A student studies for her high school entrance exam in HCMC, June 2, 2019. Photo by VnExpress / Thanh Nguyen.

The World Economic Forum report titled "ASEAN Youth: Technology, Skills and Future Work," released in Hanoi on Friday, surveyed 56,000 people aged 15-35 in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam last month. Understand their views, priorities and concerns regarding jobs, skills and future work amid the fourth industrial revolution.

Vietnamese youth were well ahead of the others with 63.6 percent believing in their current education and skills needs to be constantly updated, followed by Malaysians (52.6 percent) and Singaporeans (51.9 percent).

The average for Southeast Asia was 52.4 percent.

Vietnamese youth were also least likely to believe their education and skills would last another five and 10 years before they needed retraining or most of their lives.

This belief in upgrading skills can constantly be thought of as having a "growth mindset," said Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University in the U.S.

The report said in the fourth industrial revolution of the era, with the pace of change accelerating the job market and reducing the durability of many skills, having a growth mindset and a commitment to lifelong learning would be an essential factor for success in the future.

Justin Wood, head of Asia Pacific and a member of the executive committee of the World Economic Forum, said at a conference on Friday in Hanoi: "It is impossible to predict how technology will change the work of the future.

"The only certainty is that job markets face accelerating disruption, where the lifespan of many skills is shortening.

"It is encouraging that ASEAN youths are aware of these challenges and show a deep commitment to lifelong, ongoing learning."

Vietnam's Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said technologies change fast but governments do not, which is the "biggest challenge."

So people need to be trained to adapt to changes, by not just learning about technical skills but soft skills as well, he added.

Educators need to shift their approach from providing education to the beginnings of a person's life that is based on lifelong learning all the way through adulthood, the report said.

Vietnam is among the least prepared for the fourth industrial revolution, according to another WEF report released last year.

It ranks low in terms of education, human resources, innovation, and technology, all the critical factors in the revolution, it said.

It is also among the top three ASEAN countries in terms of employment problems related to artificial intelligence, according to a study by multinational tech firm Cisco last year.


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