Lacking both swimming pools and professional teachers, the schools are powerless to meet the desire to help 100% of children master drowning prevention skills.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children aged 2-15 in Vietnam. According to a report by the Children’s Department (Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs) at the end of 2020, about 2,000 children die from drowning each year in Vietnam – higher than other countries in Southeast Asia.
According to many experts, the high rate of drowning deaths is partly due to children having little access to education programs on drowning prevention skills in schools. This situation comes from many reasons; The first is to determine Swimming is only an elective subject in school.
Teaching safe swimming is currently being implemented by schools as an extra-curricular activity under the program on prevention and control of children’s accidents and injuries in the 2016-2020 period promulgated by the Prime Minister. This program has helped 40% of children at primary and secondary levels know safety skills in the water environment; drowning death rate decreased by 6% compared to the previous one. From there, the ministries, branches and localities make their own plans, suitable to the conditions. Many places set high goals, about 90% of students know how to swim when they finish high school. But according to the assessment of the physical education teachers, the way to define swimming as an extracurricular activity leads to a slight mentality of this subject in some schools.
Teacher Nguyen Van Hoa, founder of the Nguyen Binh Khiem – Cau Giay Education System, said: “Swimming is not valued because it is not an achievement-calculating activity like cultural subjects.”
However, The fact that “want to teach swimming but don’t have a pool” is considered the biggest obstacle making it impossible for schools to impart this skill to students. The principal of a primary school in Ho Chi Minh City said that it takes a great deal of time, money and personnel to teach and make sure the children know how to swim. Currently, the public high school system in Vietnam has almost no swimming pool in the list of facilities. This category has been invested by a number of non-public schools, but has not served much for teaching due to lack of personnel and operating costs.
Schools are also not allowed to invest in their own swimming teachers. Each school has an average of 4-8 teachers, depending on student size. Most of the teachers graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education, teaching basic physical education and movement subjects; swimming is not required. Meanwhile, to teach swimming needs a professional coach.
In 2010, Ho Chi Minh City was the first locality in the country to pilot the universal swimming program for students. The program has been implemented in many districts, but after 7 years, the goal has not been reached that 40% of children of primary and secondary school age can swim. The biggest cause was identified as lack of teachers and safe enough swimming pool.
At that time, 16 elementary schools in District 1 implemented this plan for 3rd grade students. Without a swimming pool and coach, the schools had to coordinate with the District Sports Center to organize. Mr. Nguyen Phi Hai, Head of Service Department, District 1 Sports Center said, on average, each child gets 16 lessons in each term. In addition to basic breaststroke skills, the children were taught how to protect themselves in the event of an incident.
According to Mr. Hai, to organize a lesson for 100 students need 10-15 professional swimming teachers and physical support teachers. The school is crowded with students, they are divided into shifts, rotated, and took advantage of the time when they are not studying in the regular class. On average, one semester, the center completes a drowning prevention course for 2,500-3,000 children.
In District 1, the funding for this program is provided by the state budget and supported by advocacy. As for the curriculum, the Sports Center supports schools for free. Without the determination and support for both costs and facilities to implement, other schools cannot implement this plan even if they wanted to.
Limited facilities and human resourcesmany schools manage to find ways to teach students to swim. Nguyen Binh Khiem School – Cau Giay (Hanoi) long-term rent swimming pool near the school, for students to study and practice weekly. The school’s goal is that students who complete primary school, at the latest, must be able to swim.
Swimming lessons and drowning prevention are included in the school’s physical education program, club program and summer activities. The school also recruits qualified physical education teachers with good swimming experience to serve the above goal.
“We have been doing this for the past 15 years. There are also parents who do not send their children to school, the school has to mobilize,” said Mr. Nguyen Van Hoa.
Mr. Van Cong Thu, physical education teacher at Dong La Secondary School (Hoai Duc District, Hanoi), said that from 2019, schools in Hanoi will be sponsored mobile swimming pools with canvas to popularize the curriculum. swimming, drowning prevention for students. Schools without swimming pools will link with swimming pools in the commune to organize summer classes or after regular school hours.
Two years ago, due to the influence of Covid-19, teaching and learning to swim and prevent drowning for children was almost completely interrupted. Mr. Thu is restarting this program at school to prepare for the next summer.
Not fully funded, the school will have to mobilize resources from parents. A swimming and drowning prevention course here is 400-500 thousand VND, one sixth of that in the inner city. But still many parents do not register their children. Many families live near lakes and rivers, so they should teach their children how to swim by experience. However, Mr. Thu said that teaching swimming improperly will make the children not know how to apply and handle real situations, leading to tragic accidents.
at Blogtuan.info – Source: vnexpress.net – Read the original article here