A deputy headmaster of an middle school in the central city of Da Nang has been holding weekly classes on sexual harassment to equip students with necessary skills and knowledge to prevent and deal with this problem.
Child sexual abuse and school violence have become rife in Vietnam recently, which causes confusion and fear among parents and children.
Phan Thi Thuy Loan, vice principal of Nguyen Hue Middle School in Da Nang, acknowledged the alarming situation as well as the lack of social skills in most students today, with the development of technology partly to blame, so she decided to organize free after-class lessons to improve the situation in 2018.
Since then, Loan’s class has drawn participation of many students, including those from other schools, and received positive feedback due to the creativity and sense of humor in each lesson, unlike her normally seen strict and formal vibe.
The special class would begin with some questions about child sexual abuse and school violence for students to discuss to get a precise definition of the problem given.
Aside from raising discussion about this issue in class, Loan showed videos of factual situations to provide students the idea of when and where this could happen as well as how to deal with it.
There were also some quizzes and tests for children to analyze the facial expressions and identify the real bad guys in many cases of sexual harassment, which turned out to be a surprise for children since anyone can be the suspect even those who looked nice and dressed properly.
The best part in Loan’s lessons was the practice, in which students can get a more realistic view about the problem and were trained some tricks and skills by martial arts teachers to protect themselves from predators.
|Students participate in self-defense lessons at Nguyen Hue Secondary School in Da Nang, central Vietnam. Photo: Doan Nhan / Tuoi Tre|
Nguyen Ngoc Doan Thy, an eighth grader of Nguyen Hue Secondary School, said that Loan’s extra class helped provide both background information about the issues and real situations for them to practice what they had learned.
“I am now quite confident that I would know how to handle with sexual harassment or abuse cases thanks to her useful lessons,” she said.
Loan’s class received positive feedback from not only students but also their parents, one of whom was Tran Thanh Son, the father of 9th grader Tran Thi Thanh Thuy of Kim Dong Secondary School in Da Nang.
He shared that Thuy became more confident and sociable after attending Loan’s weekly class, which made him very delighted.
|Phan Thi Thuy Loan interacts with students in her class at Nguyen Hue Secondary School in Da Nang, central Vietnam. Photo: Doan Nhan / Tuoi Tre|
Loan also put her theory into practice everywhere from museums, parks to hospitals and coffee shops to help students get the real experience and self-train what they had been taught at school under her supervision and instruction.
She said that the keys in the success of her lessons are her own precise understanding of the problem and ability to gain students’ trust due to her exemplary life and respectful attitude towards them.
Aside from teaching, Loan is also a reliable consultant for both students and parents to share their deepest secret or complicated concerns and children usually stay after her class to attend her upcoming Q&A section.