Vietnam to teach good touch, bad touch in elementary school

By Nhung Nguyen   May 1, 2019 | 02:33 pm GMT+7
Vietnam to teach good touch, bad touch in elementary school
Vietnam has made teaching prevention of sexual abuse mandatory in elementary schools across the country starting this year. Photo by VnExpress.

First graders are set to be taught the "underwear rule" about not allowing strangers to touch them and how to react and seek help.

The Ministry of Education and Training has made teaching prevention of sexual abuse mandatory in elementary schools across the country starting this year, with illustrated manuals added to the list of basic teaching equipment for first grade.

The manuals must include two illustrations on primary prevention from sexual abuse, the circular stated.

One must show the rules of body protection for both boys and girls, with the message, "Remember! Do not let anyone touch parts of your body usually covered by underwear, unless you need to be examined by a doctor."

The other is required to provide guidance on how to react and where to seek help, such as running away from a dangerous situation and telling their loved ones about what happened to them.

The changes come in response to increasing awareness of incidents of child sexual abuse in the country.

A class about sexual harassment is piloted by a local teacher in a Da Nang City school. Photos by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

In Da Nang, a teacher explains about sexual harassment as part of her efforts to teach children how to defend themselves from potential abusers. Photos by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

In 2018 nearly 1,300 cases of sexual violence against children were reported, according to the Ministry of Public Security. They believe however that many more simply went unreported.

In most incidents, the perpetrators were found to be people familiar to the children, such as teachers, school security officials, relatives, and neighbors, prompting lawmakers and non-governmental organizations to call for parents to be more alert and pay more attention to their children.

Last month a primary school teacher in the south-central province of Binh Thuan was taken in on allegations he had molested eight girl students. A few days earlier a secondary school teacher in the northern Lao Cai Province had been arrested for allegedly impregnating his 14-year-old student.

Another incident that shook the nation occurred in Ho Chi Minh City. Footage from an apartment elevator in District 4 showed Nguyen Huu Linh, 61, a retired deputy chief prosecutor in the central city of Da Nang, approaching a little girl, wrapping his arm around her neck and kissing her.

This sparked public outrage, especially after authorities took two weeks to act against Linh. On April 21, 18 days after the event, the Saigon police pressed child molestation charges against Linh.

Vietnam languishes at the bottom of a global list, released earlier this year, in its response to child sex abuse.

The report by the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Vietnam 37th out of 40 countries it examined, far behind regional peers like the Philippines (16th), Malaysia (20th) and Cambodia (23rd).

 
 
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