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Saturday, November 26, 2022

RMIT Vietnam sees first blind Chevening scholarship recipient

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Nguyen Thanh Vinh, despite his visual impairment, has received a Chevening scholarship to do a master’s degree in Special Education in the UK.

As Vinh graduated from RMIT University Vietnam with the support of the Dream Wings Scholarship that the school offers to disadvantaged students, he realized that the difficulties in high school were not due to his own abilities, but instead to the lack of effective communication and understanding between teachers and students.

The desire to become a teacher who can help his students was strengthened to a new level during Vinh’s studying Professional Communication at RMIT Vietnam.

“The bachelor’s degree taught me how to clearly communicate what I want, as well as build a bridge so that students and teachers can understand each other,” Vinh said.

As soon as Vinh graduated from university, he decided to make plans to get a master’s degree in special education, not an easy decision for anyone to make, let alone a visually impaired person, especially during the period of social distancing due to Covid-19.

The global pandemic put Vinh in a difficult situation when the money he had saved was almost exhausted because his English classes could not operate for six consecutive months.

Vinh explained, “I knew I had to learn to face challenges with courage. As the two-year plan was halfway over and I still hadn’t accomplished much, I used to worry that I would wobble and collapse. However, I stood straight, with my head held high, shifted all my classes to an online format and took on the challenge of staying connected online and engaging with my students.”

Vinh has improved his online teaching skills by watching YouTube videos, taking classes, reading materials about organizing online courses and learning special study tips especially useful to students with visual impairments. In addition, he also successfully brought all of his classes online during a time when the Delta variant of the coronavirus was raging, having a major impact on the community, especially on people with disabilities.

The determined young man also launched the initiative to establish ScriVi, a combination of Scrivener – document drafter application and vision of Vietnam, to provide blind members with the ability to transfer audio into professional writing to offer this service to researchers, journalists and other clients.

“It is not enough to work with educational institutions on frameworks for action, inclusive curricula, or teaching and learning on its own. Mentoring people with disabilities directly to share invaluable experiences will be extremely helpful later when they enter the workplace — a place neither they created nor was created for themselves,” he added.

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