Education Ministry considers teaching swimming at school

VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam has the highest number of child drowning cases with thousands of deaths every year. 


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The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) is trying to settle the problem by having swimming lessons as part of the curriculum. 

On May 24, an eighth grader at Nguyen Duy Hieu Secondary School in Hoi An City of Quang Nam province drowned in the middle of Hoai River when he and two friends were bathing there.

There are 7,000 children deaths every year because of accidents. In 2010-2015, about 2,800 children died because of drowning every year.

On May 15, four primary school students in Can Tho City and Go Cong Tay district of Tien Giang province drowned in the river and pond next to their houses.

Just two weeks before, on May 2, a traumatic drowning accident occurred at the Cau river section which runs across Nha Long commune of Phu Binh district in Thai Nguyen province. All three victims were students at Diem Thuy High School.

Another tragic accident occurred on March 26. A group of ninth graders went sea bathing at Xuan Thieu Beach in Lien Chieu district of Da Nang City. Three students were swept away by the waves and drowned.

On March 29, four sixth graders in Gia Lai were killed in a drowning case.

In May 2016, 50 students were reported dead because of drowning. 

A report of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) showed there are 7,000 children deaths every year because of accidents. In 2010-2015, about 2,800 children died because of drowning every year. Nguyen Trong An, former deputy head of the Child Care and Protection Agency, said he was startled about such a high number of deaths recently.


The children who drowned were mostly aged 5-14. The number of child deaths because of drowning accounts for more than 50 percent of total deaths due to accidents. 

The drowning mortality rate in Vietnam is the highest in the region, eight times higher than in developed countries.

Nguyen Duc Huu from MOET’s Primary Education Department said that swimming should be considered a subject at secondary, high school, junior college and university.

Also according to Huu, if the new general education program is applied from the next academic year, swimming will be part of physical education classes.

However, teachers have shown their doubts about the feasibility of the plan. A primary school teacher in Hanoi’s suburbs said that many schools don’t have swimming pools. 

An official from MOLISA, which is creating the plan for teaching, also said that this is a difficult task because of the poor facilities.


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Thanh Lich

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