“What are bullying and harassment?”, “What are sexual assault and sexual harassment?”, and “How can I prevent sexual abuse?” are three topics discussed in the class run by Pham Thi Thuy Loan, deputy principal of Nguyễn Huệ Secondary School, in Da Nang city. For more than a year now Loan has been holding these classes every Sunday morning to teach her students life skills, soft skills, and recently about sexual harassment. Doan Thi, a 6th grader, says she has learned how to protect herself against child molesters and violence.
“In this class I’ve learn how to protect myself from potential danger. For example, when I go out at night and feel unsafe, I find a safer place, call my parents, try to get a message out, or seek help from people nearby.”, Doan Thi said.
|For Loan, the most challenging task is finding the right words, images, and teaching methods for her students’ ages (Source: VOV)
Each class comprises 20 to 30 children of various ages. At first, only secondary students from Nguyễn Huệ School attended the class. Then more and more students heard about the class. Now students from neighboring primary, secondary, and high schools ask to join in. Le Van Thanh, a parent, says his child has changed a lot, thanks to learning from Loan soft skills like time management, communication, and living safely and confidently.
“The lessons on violence against children and child sexual abuse that Loan teaches are useful. I’m happy that my kid now knows how to protect herself and stay safe.”, Van Thanh said.
Ms. Loan's lessons are adapted to the students' needs. Loan knows her students lack many life skills, which is what prompted her to start this class. For Loan, the most challenging task is finding the right words, images, and teaching methods for her students’ ages. For example, she uses easy-to-understand words for younger children, but gets straight to the point with secondary and high school students. Loan said: “The classes teach whatever the children need. Beside teaching children how to protect themselves from potential danger, we also stage outdoor activities for them, which I believe will improve their life skills.”
The Director of the municipal Department of Education and Training, Ms Le Thi Bich Thuan, says the classes have been a great success and she thinks more time, human resources, and infrastructure should be devoted to replicating this model.
“More life skills classes should be organized, either within the curriculum or as extra-curricular activities. We plan to provide these classes first for high school students and then for secondary and primary students.”, Thuan said.