Lao Cai's Schools Raise Awareness about Reproductive Health for 17,000 Adolescents

More than 17,000 students in the northern mountainous Lao Cai province participated in a lesson to experience knowledge about reproductive health.

The event designed to provide access to information about sexuality and sexual and reproductive healthcare for very young adolescents (ages 10-14). Source: Save the Children in Vietnam

In October and November, Save the Children and 60 secondary schools in Lao Cai province successfully organized a series of Ring the Golden Bell competition on sexual and productive health for adolescents.

The activities were held using a combination of face-to-face and online modes, attracting more than 17,200 students from grades 6 to 9.

Adolescence represents a critical window of opportunity when young people are learning to make independent decisions and forming their own attitudes and beliefs. The events took advantage of this window of opportunity to improve health and well-being for adolescents now and in their future adult lives.

Students had to answer a set of 24 questions that focused on puberty; love and marriage; safe sex; contraceptive methods; pregnancy and marriage; gender and gender identity; and child sexual abuse. The activity was considered fun, dramatic, and useful by many students.

“I find this activity exciting. Now I know how to protect myself, identify (sexually transmitted) diseases and the signs of pregnancy,” a student from Tan Duong secondary school, Bao Yen district, shared.

Mini version of “Ring the golden bell”, made the events both fun and informative for children and their communities.

This series of events is part of the Adolescent Development component of the Child-centered Community Development Program in Lao Cai province. Adolescents are equipped to make a healthy and successful transition through puberty to young adulthood by improving knowledge and developing transferrable skills about adolescent productive health and career skills.

Save the Children has been implementing a Child – Centered Community Development Program in Lao Cai (Sponsorship-funded program) since 2013. Lao Cai is a mountainous and multi-ethnic province in the north of Vietnam. The goal of the program is to ensure that all children in the impact area are healthy and educated and become nurturing caregivers and positive contributors to society.

The integrated program consists of 5 components, namely Early Childhood Care and Development, Basic Education, School Health and Nutrient, Adolescent Development and Child Protection. The program period is 15 years and has been implemented in 48 communes in 5 districts of Lao Cai province (Bat Xat, Bao Thang, Bao Yen, Muong Khuong and Van Ban).

Literacy Boost is Save the Children’s innovative, evidence-based response to an alarming global trend – the rise in the numbers of children finishing primary school who are unable to read well enough to learn. Save the Children in Vietnam

Also in November, Save the Children and Lao Cai Department of Education and Training organized three training courses on Literacy Boost for 130 education specialists and school administrators in eight districts, including Muong Khuong, Bao Thang, Bat Xat, Van Ban, Bao Yen, Bac Ha, Si Ma Cai and Sapa.

The training courses focused on practice, application of the common approach, and organization of learning activities, using lessons in the new general education curriculum with priority given to grades 1 and 2. A new training method was piloted, in which participants designed detailed lesson plans that incorporated what have been learnt in the training and delivered these lessons to students in Si Ma Cai. These lessons have brought joy and excitement to both teachers and students.

The training has received positive feedback from administrators and teachers from project and non-project schools. This is one of Save the Children’s efforts in primary education development to help ethic minority students improve their reading and writing skills and have a quality learning environment.

Literacy Boost is Save the Children’s innovative, evidence-based response to an alarming global trend – the rise in the numbers of children finishing primary school who are unable to read well enough to learn.

Using evidence from reading research, Save the Children designed Literacy Boost, a four-pronged approach, including assessments, teacher training, material development, and community action, to significantly improve children’s core reading and writing skills. The program fosters vocabulary expansion, bolsters reading confidence and expression, and expands opportunities to practice reading both inside and outside the classroom.