| Students deliver a speech at the qualifying round of a contest for primary students on UXO prevention, October, 2020. (Photo: Vinh Phong)
A competition for primary students on mine accident prevention was jointly organized last month by Hoai Nhon Town’s Education and Training Section, the Vietnam National Mine Action Center (VNMAC), and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
By answering multiple choice questions, delivering speeches, and performing short plays, students from local primary schools demonstrated their understanding of the dangers of bombs, mines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW), and what to do when they are accidentally encountered.
Nguyen Tran Khanh Thi, a fifth grader at Hoai Huong Primary School No 3, said, “My teacher told us about the harmful effects of bombs, mines and ERWs, how to avoid them, and what we should do if we encounter a landmine. Today my friends and I participated in a competition on mine and UXO accident prevention. Everyone was happy to participate.”
(Photo: Vinh Phong)
Nguyen Van Quy, Principal of Hoai Huong Primary School No. 3, said the school has regularly conducted communications programs on the dangers of ERWs that include class activities, fact-finding trips to former battlefields, and acting as community awareness raisers themselves.
Quy said sappers and staff of the Korea-Vietnam Mine Action Project have been invited to teach the students.
“Teachers have received two training courses. We have had veteran soldiers talking to the students about bomb, mine and ERW accident prevention,” Quy added.
Mine risk education is a core component of the Korea-Vietnam Mine Action Project, which began in 2018 in Quang Binh and Binh Dinh province with 30 million USD of non-refundable aid from KOICA and the UNDP. Over the past 2 years, 150,000 local people, mostly children, benefitted from the project.
“I’ve visited many schools in the project area and saw the importance of awareness raising about landmine/UXO accidents. This is the most important achievement of the project,” said Cho Han-Deog, KOICA Country Director for Vietnam.
Binh Dinh is one of the provinces most affected by war remnants. It has trained 200 people working in district education sections how to integrate mine and UXO risk education into primary and secondary curriculums. Binh Dinh’s motto is “Stay away from bombs, mines and explosives for a safer life”.
Nguyen Tuan Thanh, Deputy Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said, “We’ve carried out communications programs in residential areas and schools in many creative ways - short plays and televised reports - to raise public awareness. We’ll continue to replicate models that effectively reduce injuries caused by mines and ERWs and mobilize resources to support victims.”