Create a violence-free education environment together with teachers

More than 80% of female students and 65% of male students at 8 secondary schools in Vietnam, after participating in pilot programme on building respectful and equal relationships in schools, shared that this learning is "important" and "very important" for them.

Photo: UN Women/Tran Linh

This is one of the main findings of the Endline Survey after two years of piloting the toolkit “Connect with Respect: Guidance on building respectful and equal relationships in schools" (ages 11-14)”, implemented by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) with support from UN Women Vietnam.

Students learn best in schools that provide safety and social support. However, some young people experience violence and harassment in, around, and on the way to school. This includes gender-based violence (GBV), which can take many different forms and can negatively impact students’ learning.

Globally, it is estimated that 246 million girls and boys experience violence in schools each year around the world. In Vietnam, there is an emergence of gender-based violence.

To support teachers in gender-based violence prevention at schools, MOET with UN Women Vietnam and ChildFund Vietnam officially introduced the toolkit "Connect with Respect" including interactive activities and lessons to encourage constructive relationships, gender equality and solidarity among students aged 11 to 14. This material can be used in schools and other informal education environments, such as community learning or literacy programmes, and can also be adapted for older or younger students.

The toolkit was developed by the University of Melbourne with the support of the School-Related Gender-Based Violence working group, under the East Asia and Pacific United Nations Girls Education Initiative (UNGEI) and Unite to end violence against women project (with the participation of Plan International, UN Women, UNESCO and UNICEF).

The toolkit has been deployed in many countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Vietnam was selected to pilot the CWR in provinces/cities including Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Hoa Binh, Ha Noi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh city. In two years (2018-2020), 75 teachers and over 1,000 secondary school students have accessed to this Toolkit. At the virtual closing workshop of the pilot, MOET validated the Toolkit and is committed to upscale the Toolkit nationwide.

Thu Pham