Localities still make half-hearted swimming lesson efforts
  • | Tien Phong, dtinews | September 14, 2012 06:15 PM

Vietnamese child mortality rates from drowning rank second after traffic accidents in terms of overall fatalities, but local authorities nationwide still lack specific plans to teach children how to swim.


Pupils from Tran Khanh Du and Nguyen Binh Khiem primary schools in HCM City at a morning swimming class

In 2010, the Ministry of Education and Training joined with agencies to draft swimming teaching plans for children. However the plan still faces some difficulties.

A number of HCM City districts have taught swimming to children. Around 99% of secondary school students and 80% of students between third and fifth grade in Thu Duc District have been provided with swimming courses.

In District 1, all students of the third grade are offered free swimming classes.

Meanwhile, Binh Chanh District is still seeking to cooperate with local swimming pools, including those in hotels and companies to teach students.

Nguyen Hoai Chuong, Deputy Director of the HCM City Department of Education and Training, said lack of facilities and human resources is a difficulty for many local districts to open swimming classes.

The department’s statistics showed that among over 1,000 local primary, secondary and high schools, only 20 have swimming pool. After the swimming universalisation programme was launched for two year, to date, only 69 secondary schools, 83 high schools and 40 primary schools have implemented the programme.

The South-western region which is among localities with the highest rate of drowning children fatalities nationwide has been urged to pioneer swimming lessons for children. However, to date, only Dong Thap Province has worked out a detailed plan, while, the rest remains in the preparatory stages, and have not yet started any specific programme.

Drowning deaths still on the rise

Vietnam witnesses around 6,000 child deaths by drowning with the highest rate seen in summer.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affair’s Department of Children Protection and Care, most of the tragic cases are due to a lack of family supervision.

A doctor from the HCM City Children 2 Hospital said many children are hospitalised due to falling into deep holes at construction sites.

The 0 to 4 year-old age group sees the highest rate of drowning fatalities with 19/100,000 children annually.

Last month, Children Hospital 1 in HCM City received 23 children who were taken due to drowning. Last week, Children Hospitals 2 in HCM City treated three cases aged 2-6.

Doctor Nguyen Minh Tien from the Children Hospital 1’s Emergency and Intensive Care Ward said the number of children suffering accidents, injuries and drowning were the most common.

The HCM City Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said in 2011, drowning killed 30 children aged less than 14 years old.

Dong Thap Province saw 50 drowning-related fatalities in which the victims were aged between six and 13.

Eight schoolgirls between the ages of 12 and 13 drowned in Tuy Lai Lake on outskirts of Hanoi on September 12. Two other schoolgirls were luckily rescued by local residents.

Tuy Lai in Hanoi’s My Duc District where eight students drowned on September 12

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