Outward Bound Vietnam's high-quality experiential learning

July 23, 2022 | 14:11
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In the face of the post-pandemic challenges, experiential learning has emerged as one of the key educational components that prepare Vietnamese youths for the demands of the future job market. As the leading experiential education provider with established international expertise and prestige, Outward Bound Vietnam has many stories to share.

The modern job market is going through a period of unprecedented volatility with pressing issues such as climate change, rapid automation, and less limited migration also demanding the labour force to secure a diverse skillset to adapt to the rapidly changing market.

According to the Skills of the Future report by the World Economic Forum, there will be major changes in the job market in 2022, with only 52 per cent of the current skills satisfying the future recruitment criteria.

Digitalisation accelerates global exchange but at the same time disconnects people from the real world. In this case, experiential learning provides an opportunity for youngsters to go outside, dive into nature, and benefit from more human interaction.

Outward Bound Vietnam's high-quality experiential learning
Trekking and orienteering activities are used as a way to promote personal growth and teamwork

Experiential learning programmes engage students through real and tangible experiences, allow review and reflection, and identify strategies and techniques for improvement. During experiential educational programmes, young people are allowed to explore their capabilities and the wonder of working together as a whole.

Through such experiences, they can explore their strengths and weaknesses, develop a sense of self and the world, gain self-confidence and self-consciousness, and unlock their potential.

Outward Bound Vietnam's high-quality experiential learning
Participants practice kayaking on an Outward Bound Vietnam programme. Source: obv.vn

Beyond education at school, businesses also need to provide their employees with experiential training programmes to boost personal development and strengthen corporate spirit through collaborative activities. The rationale behind companies' investment in experiential courses is that they are the antecedences of dynamic innovation, which is the key to success in the developing economy of Vietnam.

Finally, during the second National Cultural Congress, the Vietnamese Government once again acknowledged and emphasised the importance of experiential learning by promoting edu-culture policies. These pieces of evidence prove that Vietnam’s education market is crying out for the most cutting-edge breakthroughs that only experiential learning programmes can provide.

Outward Bound Vietnam's high-quality experiential learning
The indoor climbing wall at Outward Bound Vietnam in Binh Dinh. Source: obv.vn

Outward Bound Vietnam is uniquely positioned to address these pressing needs given its long history, global scope, and capacity to engage at local, regional, and global levels.

The organisation is a social enterprise that commenced in 2016. It is a member of the worldwide Outward Bound network of schools that operate in 37 countries and serve over 200,000 participants per year.

Outward Bound Vietnam has registered with the Department of Education and Training as an educational institution which provides life-skills programmes in the provinces of Binh Dinh (Quy Nhon), and Quang Ninh (Ha Long).

The mission of Outward Bound is to help people recognise and develop their true potential to care for themselves, others, and the world around them through experiential learning programmes that include adventure, challenge, service, and discovery to build their personal and social resilience.

Outward Bound Vietnam instructors doing safety checks with equipment and participants
Outward Bound Vietnam instructors doing safety checks with equipment and participants

Outward Bound's innovative outdoor learning approach directly addresses the global risks identified by the World Economic Forum through the offer of a broader space for learning.

What truly sets Outward Bound Vietnam apart from other education providers is the unique commitment to ensuring excellent programme quality and safety standards. All Outward Bound Vietnam instructors are full-time staff and hold wilderness first aid, CPR, and lifesaving qualifications.

They are trained to guide the participants through each activity safely while keeping an educational focus. Furthermore, as a member of the Outward Bound International network, Outward Bound Vietnam goes through a programme and safety review every two years.

Investment in experiential and life-skills education in Vietnam is expected to grow in the future, and the high-standard programmes that Outward Bound Vietnam currently provides will set the necessary benchmark for similar institutions to follow.

By Mai Dang

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