|Students of a primary school in Hue City in swimming class. — Photo dulichhue.com.vn
THUA THIEN –HUE (VNS) — The central Thua Thien-Hue Province has been carrying out several measures to prevent the drowning of children.
In the province, cases of drowning of children occur not only in summer but also in the rainy season, especially in the riverside and lagoon areas.
The number of children drowning is increasing year by year. Most of the cases involve children aged between five and 14.
According to the statistics from the provincial Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Department, there were 30 cases of drowning between 2013 and the first quarter of this year, as compared to 18 and eight in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
To tackle the situation, the provincial authorities have decided to make swimming classes part of the compulsory teaching programme in primary and secondary schools, especially in the low-land areas of Phong Dien, Phu Vang, Quang Dien, and Huong Tra and Huong Thuy townships.
The programme has so far taught swimming to thousands of students.
In addition, other programmes that impart training skills for preventing drowning have been implemented as after-school activities in several schools in Hue City.
Through these activities, 1,000 students can learn to swim each year.
Many swimming classes are being supported by domestic and foreign organisations.
Earlier this year, the provincial Education and Training Department organised a swimming course, in which international swimming trainers were invited to train 90 teachers who would then train students in schools.
The activity is part of the VND2 billion (about US$100,000) "swimming for limiting natural calamity-prone risks and improving life skills for climate change-affected children" project.
The Norwegian Church Aid has offered non-refundable aid of VND1.8 billion (US$90,000) to the project for the 2015-18 period.
The project focuses on training school athletics teachers in methods of swimming in rivers, dams and the sea, and in the skills involved in limiting the risks of natural calamities and rescuing people who are drowning.
So far, the project has been implemented in five districts of Phong Dien, Quang Dien and Phu Vang and in the townships of Huong Thuy and Huong Tra.
The campaign to prevent drowning of children has also received support from many local organisations.
The province's localities have committed to build "safe houses" for children.
Under the model, there will be safe entertainment and sport centres for children in every district and commune.
The province hopes that at least 50 per cent of the primary and secondary school children would be able to swim and rescue drowned people by the end of this year. — VNS