Ho Chi Minh City, April 6, 2021 – Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD) in collaboration with the Department of Child Affairs – Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs and the Southern Department – Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Youth Union conducted the seminar on Sharing the results of the Young Voices in Vietnam report in Ho Chi Minh City. The event is part of the project “Strengthening capacity of CSOs”, sponsored by Save the Children and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
This is an event in the Series of Seminars on Sharing Young Voices in Vietnam report, following the seminar in Hanoi on March 22, 2021. The sharing session in Ho Chi Minh City was conducted at Thanh Da Secondary School, Binh Thanh District. The seminar had the participation of leaders from the Department of Child Affairs – Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the Southern Department – Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Youth Union, Ho Chi Minh city’s Department of Education and Training, Ho Chi Minh city’s Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, Board of Directors, teachers and more than 100 students of Thanh Da Secondary School and children from Thao Dan Social Protection Facility.
In the opening speech, Mr. Dang Hoa Nam, Director of the Department of Child Affairs shared: “Children’s right to participate has been recognized in the Vietnamese Constitution, the 2016 Law on Children, and today they are exercising their rights. The responsibility of the state agency delegates and me today is to talk less and listen to the children more, trying to answer and respond to their ideas.”
(Mr. Dang Hoa Nam – Head of the Department of Child Affairs)
The seminar introduced 15 outstanding findings of the Young Voices in Vietnam survey and shared the reporting process used to consult and develop national programs and policies for children, with the active participation of children. The Dialogue part also recorded many opinions, questions and issues raised by the students. Some notable statements are:
– I am impressed by the findings related to witnessing the physical and mental punishment of children. I have also witnessed forms of physical and mental punishment of children, and I feel sorry for them. I hope parents need to listen to their children more; stakeholders need to build rights to protect children. (T.D., grade 6)
– Currently, there are many students that are addicted to the Internet, and games. They drop out of school to play on the Internet a lot, and teachers and families should improve this problem. (V.A)
– Children are studying too much, so what time to eat, sleep and play? It is necessary to balance study time with time participating in extra-curricular activities such as camping, and going to orphanages and poor areas to learn about life and knowledge about life. (G.H, grade 7)
– Parents and schools should help children with cyber safety knowledge than let them learn independently. They study a lot on their own; if they go online to access bad websites, they don’t know what to do. (T.B.)
– We are studying up to 13 subjects, will we use all the knowledge of these subjects in the future? In my opinion, you should only focus on studying a few oriented subjects. (G.N., grade 7)
– I think it is necessary to strengthen gifted clubs outside of learning, such as singing, drawing, and dancing. (G.H, grade 8)
– Children also have the right to take care of their beauty; for example, doing hair or makeup can be seen as spoiled or playful children. So do children have the right to take care of their beauty? (T.H, grade 7)
– Many children are not confident, still relatively passive, and not yet confident to talk about their opinions, is there any way to support them to speak in public? (K.)
– Many children are worried about their future job, is there any way to guide their careers?
Listening to the children’s comments, Ms. Dinh Thi Thien An – Principal of Thanh Da Secondary School answered the students’ questions in the school and added: “The school administrators have made great efforts in the past to talk to the children and listen to them. There are some problems in the school like extra-curricular courses, schedule changes, etc. We have been guided, directed, consulted by the Department of Education, consulted by parents, etc. However, through dialogue like this, it is necessary to promote the collection of students’ opinions. The school promises to make efforts to listen and share and recognize students’ voices more actively and effectively.”
(Ms. Dinh Thi Thien An – Principal of Thanh Da Secondary school)
Following this opinion, Ms. Pham Thi Thu Hien – Ideological Politics Department, Department of Education and Training of Ho Chi Minh City affirmed: “Recently, the Department has organized vocational training for principals, then the training will be popularized at schools for grade 8 and grade 9 students soon. Life skills courses should also be emphasized. In addition, schools and agencies at all levels always hold annual dialogues between students and teachers. The children have the right to speak. They should not suffer but express their wishes about the teaching method and the teacher’s behavior. Many children become depressed because of their anger, so they need to express it, let the adults listen and change together to find solutions to create the best conditions for them.”
(Ms. Pham Thi Thu Hien – Ideological Politics Department, Department of Education and Training of Ho Chi Minh City)
Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh, Director of MSD also shared: “I am very impressed with the sharing and suggestions of the children to promote their participation in school, family and community. The first thing is that children need to be aware of their right to speak up, talk, consult, criticize, bring ideas, initiatives and solutions to adults. A sharing session like today is an opportunity for children to exercise their rights and get answers to questions from adults who are responsible for ensuring their rights.”
(Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh – Executive Director of MSD)
Giving feedback and conclusion, Mr. Dang Hoa Nam – Director of the Department of Child Affairs shared: “Children’s participation is always a priority content in the operation plans of the Department of child affairs. We highly appreciate the Young Voices in Vietnam report’s results and the opinions, aspirations and suggestions that the children have shared in today’s program. Dialogue activities, and receiving children’s opinions need to be carried out regularly in various forms and methods. These comments will be recorded and submitted to the top management agencies each month. In addition, we always work with other state management agencies, schools, and commune organizations to continue listening, absorbing and acting to promote the realization of Vietnamese children’s right to participate.”
Besides, Mr. Dang Hoa Nam also consulted children about teaching life skills such as Accident and Injury Prevention, Drowning Prevention, Safe Internet Use, Presentation, etc. and agreed to by all attended children.
The series of seminars to share the Young Voices in Vietnam Report results will continue to be conducted in the following provinces and cities: Hai Phong, Lao Cai, Hue, Dak Lak and Tien Giang in April 2021. Children’s opinions will be collected, recorded and submitted to develop programs that ensure children’s participation and voice in their affairs.
In 2020, Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD) and Save the Children have released the Young Voices in Vietnam report. The Young Voices in Vietnam survey was coordinated and deployed by MSD from September 2019 to February 2020 with the participation of 1,692 children aged 11 to 16 years old in 7 provinces/cities across all three regions of the North, Central and South Vietnam. The objective of the survey is to collect children’s opinions and thoughts on issues directly related to them, thereby examining the reality of the implementation of Child Rights in Vietnam from the perspective of children.
About Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD)
As a Vietnamese non-government organization, MSD acts to enable the environment for the development of the civil society sector and to promote the rights of marginalized groups, especially children, youth, women, and people with disabilities. MSD is now recognized as a leading organization in coordinating, supporting, and providing capacity-building, coaching, and consultancy services for CSOs in Vietnam. It is also a professional organization effectively responding to the needs and protecting the rights of disadvantaged communities, including advancing gender equality, through implementing projects, providing services to children, youth, women, street and migrant groups, and people with disabilities (PWD) in Vietnam and promoting gender equality.
(Ms) Chu Thu Ha – Event and Communication Manager
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