Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Besides teaching, ensuring safety and security at schools is also an important duty for teachers, and experts believe that to do the work well, co-operation between families, schools and the community is needed.
Last month, a grade-three student of a primary school in Hà Nội’s Chương Mỹ District was sexually abused when relieving herself in the school’s toilet.
A similar case occurred at a primary school in Ba Vì District in March last year.
However, after the incidents, local authorities and schools did not find effective measures to control the problem.
Hà Nội now has more than 2,500 schools at different levels from kindergartens to vocational training schools, according to the municipal Department of Education and Training.
Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper’s correspondent observed one probelm helping strangers enter schools, especially kindergartens and primary schools, was that schools opened their gates to let parents pick up their children.
Nguyễn Kim Dung, principal of the Tô Hoàng Primary School in Hai Bà Trưng District, said that the school had more than 1,200 students, and most of them were picked up by their parents daily.
The school is on Đại Cồ Việt Road, a main road in the district with heavy traffic, so the schools must use part of the school ground for parents to wait for students.
“It helps reduce traffic jams, but some people could take advantage to mix with the crowd and harm students,” said Dung.
As well as the risk of sexual abuse and kidnapping, accidents and fire are issues for students.
More than 50 per cent of the 2,500 schools in the city have a kitchen for day boarders with gas and electric systems. The systems have a latent risk of short circuiting and fire if they are not maintained regularly.
In the last half of last year, two fires were reported at schools.
One case occurred at Đông La Kindergarten School in Hoài Đức District in June damaging the school’s property including televisions, fans, tables and chairs, toys and teaching aids.
Another case happened at Vimeco Kindergarten in Cầu Giấy District in November.
Few security guards
At present, the number of security guards at schools is low.
Tô Hoàng Primary School in Hai Bà Trưng District is more than 2,600squ.m in width with 1,200 students, but has only four security guards working in two shifts. Each shift lasts 24 hours.
Bách Khoa Kindergarten in Hai Bà Trưng District has double the area of Tô Hoàng School, but has only three security guards.
Lê Thị Giáng Tuyết, principal of the 8-3 Kindergarten, said that the kindergarten did not have cleaners, so security guards must also clean up, decorate, take care of the garden and maintain the electric system.
Principal of Bách Khoa Kindergarten Nguyễn Thị Hà said that the school often taught social skills in its lessons to teach the children to call for help from adults when required.
The capital city conducted a model of safe, friendly and equal school at junior secondary and high schools. Via the model, parents and students learned about the hotline of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs 18001567. The hotline receives information related to child abuse and consults children.
Hà Nội has prioritised helping schools reach national norms. At present, more than 50 per cent of schools in the capital reach the norms. It is planned that every year the capital will have 100 more schools reaching the norms.
A project of building standard toilets at schools from now until 2020 has been implemented.
Phạm Xuân Tiến, deputy director of the Hà Nội Department of Education and Training (DoET), said that the department sent a document asking schools to strengthen management and prevent public disorder and fire.
The school year 2016-17 is the third year the Hà Nội DoET has worked with the Fire Prevention and Control Police to train teachers and workers at schools. Extra activities on fire prevention and control were also held for students. – VNS