China Education Development Foundation (CEDF) and Dell Technologies have recently kickstarted the “Upskilling Future Workforce for The Digital Economy” 2023 Project. The official launch conference was held virtually on March 16, 2023, with about 100 representatives present from Center for Educational Technology, staff members from 50 project schools, and representatives from ICDL China.
The conference was chaired by Mr. Zhao Lin, the Director of Vocational Education Teaching Resources Division of National Centre for Educational Technology (NCET). Representatives that include Mr. Zhao Xianzhi, Deputy Chief of NCET, Mr. Sui Hongqi, Deputy Director of CEDF, Ms. Jane Ma, CSR Manager of Dell Technologies, Ms. Tina Wu, General Manager of ICDL Asia, Mr. Yang Yanjun, Professor of Nanchang University, Mr. Chen Xiaohui, Director of Hebei Center for Educational Technology, Mr. Zhang Kai, Deputy Director of Guizhou Center for Educational Technology, Mr. Fu Tao, Deputy Director of Xinjiang Center for Educational Technology, and Mr. Lai Wenzhao, Director of Fujian Center for Educational Technology, were among the distinguished guests of the conference.
In line with the frameworks of “Digitisation of Vocational Education Development Direction”, “Educational Digitisation Action Plan 2.0,” and the “National Vocational Education Reform Plan” outlined by the Chinese Ministry of Education, this project aims to advocate and increase digital literacy standards in 50 selected project schools located in Hebei, Fujian, Guizhou, and Xinjiang provinces this year. In this third phase of the project, we aim to upskill an additional 100 teachers and 2,250 students with the ICDL certification programme. In addition, digital hardware devices will also be provided to vocational colleges in western China to support them in the successful launch of the project. This will help to explore innovative methods and models for cultivating vocational students’ information technology skills and further enhance their vocational capabilities to enable them to achieve greater employment opportunities.
The conference also featured a keynote presentation on “Strategic Approach of Digital Literacy among Vocational College Educators and Students in Digital Economy Era” by Professor Mr. Yang Yanjun from Nanchang University. In his presentation, Professor Yang provided a detailed interpretation and professional analysis of the project from several aspects, including the demand for talent in digital economy era, connotation of digital proficiency, project concepts, best practice, and practical implementation of the project. His insights provided valuable guidance for the project and shed light on the important role of digital literacy in the development of vocational education.
According to Mr. Sui Hongqi, Deputy Director of CEDF, the project has achieved positive social outcomes and received widespread support from the community, indicating its potential to contribute to the advancement of vocational education and the development of a skilled workforce in China since its implementation. He then emphasised that CEDF will continue to ensure the effective use of project funds, and maintain transparency and accountability in financial management to promote the sustainable development of vocational education.
Mr. Zhao Xianzhi, Deputy Chief of NCET, provided a comprehensive summary of the background and past achievements of the project implementation and introduced the new project this year. He put forward specific requirements for the implementation process, including prioritising practicality and strengthening project management to ensure successful delivery.
Ms. Jane Ma, CSR Manager of Dell Technologies, expressed her positive outlook on the project’s implementation and stated that “Dell Technologies has a long-standing partnership with NCET. Through this project, we aim to improve the quality of vocational education that leads to a positive impact on society.”
ICDL – The Digital Skills Standard