Our Better Angels
Every child is born to be loved
In Vietnam, there are 671,659 children with disabilities (CWDs) aged from 2-17 years old (General Statistics Office, 2016) and they all require the special care and supports in teaching and learning.
Although education is universal in Vietnam, the school attendance rates of CWDs are much lower than non-disabled children. There were only 16.89% of CWDs going to schools (GSO, 2015). Among them, approximately, 12,000 are studying at special education1 schools nationwide with longer schooling years than normal children (MOET, 2019).
Quality education is not yet an available option for CWDs
Annually, only about 200 teachers graduate from special education majors nationwide2, which is far away to meet the actual needs. Thus, the majority of teachers at special education schools do not receive professional training on Special Education. It has been significantly impacted on teaching quality and class management, course arrangement, etc.
The learning environment is another challenge for CWDs. Schools lack basic and adequate learning materials/textbooks tailored to special needs of children. Whilst the education system is currently turned into online teaching due to the hit of COVID-19 pandemic, the special education sector has not yet built its foundations to adapt to this new way of teaching. Most schools have no adequate digital facilities and course resources available to conduct online teaching for children at home.
Furthermore, many caregivers in rural areas have low education level do not know their important roles to support children to continuously learn and grow. Due to heavy financial burden to raise children with special needs and therefore, the time and efforts spending on providing the proper care to children is relatively limited.
Narrow the gap
Our foundation has not only seen the needs of these children but profoundly believes that these children are full of desire to shine our life. Thus, a project is launched to support 12,000 CWDs to better access to quality education in the coming years, aiming at building capacity for teachers; establishing a digital learning environment; raising caregivers’ awareness. We will firstly focus on supporting 1,000 children with disabilities in the Mekong Delta region and then later expand to other regions to support more children.
We can find ourselves as better persons, being able to give and support CWDs and share their life change stories with others. This is why these children are Our Better Angels.
1Special education is the practice of educating students in a way that provides accommodations that address their individual differences, disabilities, and special needs.
2According to the Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences.