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In Vietnam, students’ robot lends helping hand in COVID-19 fight

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Seeing many frontline health workers burned out during the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam, two high school students built a robot that helps combat the virus.

The idea of making a multi-functional robot fighting the COVID-19 pandemic of Hoang Minh Nhat and Truong Viet Bao Chau has come to fruition after three months of hard work.

According to the two students, who are from a high school in Thua Thien-Hue Province, located in central Vietnam, the robot that looks like a shopping cart has a low frame of around 60 centimeters in height and moves on three wheels.

The lower part of the robot can function as an automatic sweeper that uses a 360-degree rotating brush to collect medical wastes.

One dustbin is on the back of the robot and there is a metal box on the top of the dustbin carrying various stuff.

The front surface has two metal pods that are as high as one person’s belly. The two call them the robot’s antennas.

One of them has a device to measure body temperature and the other carries a tool spraying disinfectant along with a UV bulb.

Remotely running the robot via a control box, Nhat demonstrates what the robot can do.

Under his control, the robot moves and brushes the floor cleanly. The robot can move smoothly in the hall on the two-front engine-powered wheels and one behind.

There is a spray container in front of the robot spreading water aerosols. The machine uses an ultraviolet bulb below the sprayer to disinfect the surrounding area. The efficacy of sterilization can be up to 70 percent, said Nhat.

In a test mission intended to prove how the robot can take body temperature remotely, Nhat asked Tuoi Tre (Youth) reporters to come forward and stand in front of it.

When they showed their hands before the robot, its screen displayed 37 degrees Celsius, which is a normal reading.

“The robot has a camera that helps to send images in real time through the control screen panel,” explained Chau.

“Doctors can talk directly to their patients via a walkie-talkie.

“The robot uses an RF system, which helps to transmit images from a distance of up to 500 meters.” 

The two 11th-grade students told Tuoi Tre they had invented the robot, with medical doctors in mind.

They felt extremely impressed to look at the images of doctors who treated COVID-19 patients being exhausted after hours of working in an isolation facility last year.

Nhat and Chau looked for instructions showing how to create a robot that can be controlled remotely on the Internet.

“We hope to seek a solution to address the everyday tasks the doctors who work in quarantine centers have to deal with such as disinfection, taking patients’ body temperature, giving them food and medicine,” recalled Nhat.

Improving automation

After securing the final model of the robot, Nhat and Chau brought it to Chan May General Hospital in Phu Loc District, Thua Thien Hue Province for a trial run.

The two were over the moon after two days of testing for receiving positive feedback from the hospital’s medical staff.

Dr. Hoang Van Tham, former director of the general hospital, complimented the students on the robot.

The machine can save the medical staff from coming into direct contact with the patients when administering medicine, giving food, and running temperature checks, Dr. Tham said.

Each robot would cost around VND10 million (US$440), according to Nhat, but he hopes the cost could be decreased in case of mass production.

“We are mulling over increasing the robot’s automatic capability,” Nhat said.

“In some countries like Japan and South Korea, artificial intelligence has enabled robots to take action according to people’s wishes.

“We are striving to make the robots work on their own without being remotely controlled by anyone.”

Thanks to the robot’s distinguished features, Chau and Nhat won the third-place prize in a contest for teenagers in Thua Thien-Hue in 2020, according to teacher Nguyen Hoang Ngoc, principal of their high school.

The two friends’ creative project has been chosen to take part in a national contest this year, Ngoc revealed.

After achieving certain success with the robot helping doctors during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Nhat and Chau would like to make more things that can support frontline medical staff.

“We intend to make special personal protective equipment that can better regulate the body temperature of the wearer,” Chau divulged.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20210825/in-vietnam-students-robot-lends-helping-hand-in-covid19-fight/62740.html

Education

1,517 students orphaned by COVID-19 in Ho Chi Minh City

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The latest coronavirus outbreak in Ho Chi Minh City has taken away the parents of 1,517 students and left thousands infected, according to the municipal Department of Education and Training’s statistics.

The orphans have lost either their fathers or mothers, or both due to COVID-19.

More than 10,000 high school students and over 3,000 teachers have caught the viral disease.

Some 62,100 students enrolled at elementary, middle, and high schools have been stricken by poverty.

As of September 11, 12,341 cadres, teachers, employees, and workers in the city’s education and training sector have lost their jobs.

Kindergarten teachers and workers were affected the most, with 10,129 people having their labor contracts canceled or postponed.

The municipal Department of Education and Training proposed the Ho Chi Minh City chapter of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee and socio-political organizations provide aid to students and teachers in need for the 2021-22 school year on September 10.

The department reported that 94.3 percent of 674,173 elementary school students are studying online while another 0.73 percent, who have been stranded in other localities due to travel restrictions, have been temporarily admitted to schools in those places.

Meanwhile, 93.9 percent of over 400,000 middle school students and 97.5 percent of more than 200,000 high school students in the city attended virtual lessons during the first week of the school year.

Respectively, 0.2 percent and 0.07 percent of their stranded peers have temporarily attended middle and high schools in other localities.

The corresponding rates in continuing education students are 88.6 percent and 0.4 percent.

The number of students having difficulty accessing online lessons has decreased from 75,000 at the end of August to 40,000, thanks to the support of organizations, parents, and schools.

The municipal education department is coordinating with Ho Chi Minh City Television (HTV) to broadcast lessons as soon as possible, with priorities given to the first-, second-, fifth-, sixth-, ninth-, and 12th-grade syllabuses.

Ho Chi Minh City’s elementary, middle, and high school students commenced their new academic year virtually on September 5.

The southern city is the gravest COVID-19 hotbed in Vietnam with 309,787 local infections, accounting for about half of the country’s 630,661 community transmissions since the fourth virus wave’s emergence on April 27.

Vietnam has reported 635,055 patients, including 398,461 recoveries and 15,936 deaths, since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck early last year.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20210915/1517-students-orphaned-by-covid19-in-ho-chi-minh-city/63111.html

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Vietnam to give 1 million computers for K-12 students’ online studies this year

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Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications has announced a campaign to provide at least one million computers together with Internet connections to help underprivileged K-12 students keep up with online classes.

The campaign, entitled ‘Connection and Computers for Children,’ is born out of the Vietnamese prime minister’s orientation of supporting teachers and students with online learning instruments during the COVID-19 social distancing bouts that are in place in many parts of the country. 

It was launched on Sunday in a ceremony joined by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

In the 2021-22 school year that started earlier this month, online learning will be considered a regular solution for education during the ongoing pandemic, rather than a situational alternative like in the previous school year, officials stated. 

However, the new learning method requires access to computers and accompanying gadgets, which jeopardizes the learning and teaching opportunities of students and teachers in financially challenged households.

Addressing the issue, the Ministry of Information and Communications collaborated with the Ministry of Education and Training in the campaign in bringing high-speed Internet and digital infrastructure to students and teachers in need.

The organizers also opened a call for donations to purchase computers and technology gadgets for struggling students who live in areas upholding the government’s stringent Directive No. 16, which forbids all services and outdoor travels that are deemed non-essential.

According to the information ministry, the campaign calls for donations from all sectors in Vietnam to ensure that “no student is left behind” in terms of study opportunities. 

To realize the goal, it has allocated a budget of VND3 trillion (US$133 million) to establish cellular Internet coverage in remote spots within social distancing zones. 

As per the ministry’s plan, 283 locations will get Internet connection in September, while a total of 1,910 spots will get network coverage by the end of 2021.

The information authority also vowed to provide computers to destitute students, with one million devices to be mobilized in the first phase from September to December 2021.

This phase will prioritize poor students in socially distanced areas, and will cost an estimated VND2.5 trillion ($110 million), officials stated.

During the subsequent phase of 2022-23, the campaign utilizes support from various sectors to make sure that all students from poor households get equipped with personal computers for their online education.

During Sunday’s ceremony, the ministry also announced an online learning support package for locales that are maintaining movement curbs under Directive No. 16. 

Requiring a budget of VND650 billion ($28.7 million) and expected to last three months, the package involves free subscriptions of domestic online learning platforms, free data that accompanies computers for poor students, as well as Internet infrastructure upgrades to help provinces organize better online education. 

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20210914/vietnam-to-give-1-million-computers-for-k12-students-online-studies-this-year/63095.html

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2021-22 school year opens amidst COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam

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The opening ceremonies of the 2021-22 school year took place in 57 out of 63 provinces and cities across Vietnam on Sunday morning, most of which were organized virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021-22 academic year is considered a special school year as it begins amidst the complicated developments of the pandemic, while the opening ceremonies were held in various forms depending on the situation in each locality.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the ceremony was organized at Le Hong Phong High School and was aired on HTV9 and HTV4 channels, as well as the YouTube channel of HTV.

The event was attended by chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai, some other high-ranking officials, and several students and teachers.

Students pay respect to people who have died of COVID-19 during a school year opening ceremony at Le Hong Phong High School in Ho Chi Minh City, September 5, 2021. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Students stand in silent homage to people who have died of COVID-19 during a school year opening ceremony at Le Hong Phong High School in Ho Chi Minh City, September 5, 2021. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Similarly, the school year opening ceremony in Hanoi was organized at Trung Vuong Middle School with a limited number of attendees.

The event was aired on VTV and several online platforms.

In such localities as Phu Yen, Can Tho, Nghe An, where the COVID-19 pandemic is still serious, the ceremonies were live-streamed on YouTube or Facebook depending on the plan of each school.

The opening ceremony of the 2021-22 school year is organized without any attendee at Nguyen Sieu School in Hanoi, September 5, 2021 in this supplies photo.

The opening ceremony of the 2021-22 school year is organized without any attendee at Nguyen Sieu School in Hanoi, September 5, 2021 in this supplies photo.

Meanwhile, authorities in the northern province of Bac Giang have allowed such an event to be organized in the traditional way as the province has been able to put the pandemic under control.

To prevent the spread of the virus, the number of students participating in the ceremony at each school must not exceed 100, while a safe distance must also be kept between each of them.

A first-grader attends a virtual school year opening ceremony in Kien Giang Province, Vietnam, September 5, 2021. Photo: Thu Huong / Tuoi Tre

A first grader attends a virtual school year opening ceremony in Kien Giang Province, Vietnam, September 5, 2021. Photo: Thu Huong / Tuoi Tre

The same method was also applied in Hai Phong, Phu Tho, Dak Nong, and some other localities at low risk of COVID-19 transmission.

The ceremonies took place with a limited number of attendees and only lasted for 30-35 minutes.

A young girl attend a school year opening ceremony at her home in Da Nang City, September 5, 2021. Photo: D.C. / Tuoi Tre

A young girl attends a school year opening ceremony at her home in Da Nang City, Vietnam, September 5, 2021. Photo: D.C. / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam had documented 511,170 COVID-19 cases by Sunday morning, with 282,516 recoveries and 12,793 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

The country has recorded 506,912 local infections in 62 out of 63 provinces and cities since the fourth wave started on April 27.

Ho Chi Minh City tops the table with 245,188 patients, followed by Binh Duong Province with 128,893, Dong Nai Province with 27,306, Long An Province with 24,329, and Tien Giang Province with 10,438.

Students attend a school year opening ceremony in Ha Tinh Province, September 5, 2021. Photo: Le Minh / Tuoi Tre

Students attend a school year opening ceremony in Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam, September 5, 2021. Photo: Le Minh / Tuoi Tre

Students attend a school year opening ceremony in Dak Nong Province, September 5, 2021. Photo: Duong Phong / Tuoi Tre

Students attend a school year opening ceremony in Dak Nong Province, Vietnam, September 5, 2021. Photo: Duong Phong / Tuoi Tre

A school year opening ceremony at an elementary school in Phu Tho Province, September 5, 2021. Photo: Vinh Ha / Tuoi Tre

A school year opening ceremony at an elementary school in Phu Tho Province, Vietnam, September 5, 2021. Photo: Vinh Ha / Tuoi Tre

Students attend a school year opening ceremony inside their classroom in Dien Bien Province, September 5, 2021. Photo: N.Thuy / Tuoi Tre

Students attend a school year opening ceremony inside their classroom in Dien Bien Province, Vietnam, September 5, 2021. Photo: N.Thuy / Tuoi Tre

Parents take their children to an elementary school in Nghe An Province, September 5, 2021. Photo: Doan Hoa / Tuoi Tre

Parents take their children to an elementary school in Nghe An Province, Vietnam, September 5, 2021. Photo: Doan Hoa / Tuoi Tre

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20210905/202122-school-year-opens-amidst-covid19-pandemic-in-vietnam/62945.html

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