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Oct 15, 2021 / 15:38

Vietnam raises children's awareness of human rights via civic education

The awareness of children on human rights has greatly contributed to Vietnam’s efforts in implementing international commitment to promote human rights in education.

Human rights education has been carried out in Vietnamese schools for a long time, mainly through subjects of ethics and civic education, which are paid more and more attention to raising people’s awareness of human rights.

"My daughter, who is an eight-graders in Dich Vong Secondary School in Cau Giay District, said that the number of human rights lessons included in the subject of civic education is much more than that in primary schools. The lessons contain broader and deeper knowledge of human rights, as well as the Conventions of the United Nations in general and of Vietnam in particular," Bui Thu Hien, a Hanoi resident told The Hanoi Times.

“Meanwhile, the subject of ethics (an integral subject taught in primary schools) includes lessons to guide children to respect others such as grandparents, parents, foreign guests, women, and among others," Hien added.

Nguyen Tien Long Vu, a ten-grader in Nguyen Tat Thanh High School in Cau Giay District, said: “Thanks to civic education, I know that children are being abused or physically punished by teachers, which are a violation of human rights."

“I also know that human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. Children have the same general human rights as adults and also specific rights that recognize their special needs,” he stressed.

"Children are neither the possessions of parents nor of the state. They have equal status as members of the human family, which is included in human rights," Vu told The Hanoi Times.

 Vietnam has obtained considerable human rights achievements that have been recognized and highly valued by the international community. Photo: vietnamhoinhap.vn

The awareness of children via civic education has greatly contributed to Vietnam’s efforts in implementing international commitment to promote human rights in education.

Vietnam was the first in the region and the second in the world to sign the 1989 International Convention on the Rights of the Child. It has called on the entire society to join hands in protecting and caring for children and creating a safe and healthy environment for their physical and mental growth.

Vietnam approved an educational curricular in 2017, in which it realizes the 2013 Constitution’s guarantee of recognition, respect, and protection of human rights.

According to Professor Nguyen Xuan Thang, President of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, the Prime Minister's approval to include human rights contained in the educational curricula in the national education system has shown a consistent view of the Vietnamese State on respecting, protecting and promoting human rights.

He added that this is an important project marking the considerable achievements in the field of promoting and protecting human rights through education, contributing to strengthening the friendship and strategic cooperation between Vietnam and other countries in the region and the world.

Under the project, teaching human rights has been piloted at several kindergartens, schools, universities and vocational training centers in three cities and provinces in the north, central and southern regions. By 2025, all educational establishments across Vietnam will have the subject in their curriculum.

Professor Nguyen Xuan Thang, President of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics speaks at the conference. Photo: Nguyen Diep

Speaking at a recent conference held in Hanoi to assess the human rights teaching in Vietnam in the period 2018-2021 by the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, Thang reported that elementary pupils have learned principles, values, and laws related to human rights in Vietnam and the world, and they will delve more deeply into the issue in junior high schools.

At high schools, students study key mechanisms for human rights protection, Thang said, adding that colleges and universities will offer deeper content on the concept, nature, and roles of the subject and well as its relevance in Vietnamese and international legal documents.

The above-mentioned project was raised after Professor Nguyen Xuan Thang's working visit to Australia in 2019 to learn about human rights education experiences.

At the working visit, Professor Nguyen Xuan Thang and Professor Rosalin Croucher, chairman of the Australian Human Rights Committee, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies for the period 2019-2021 to support the Academy in integrating human rights into Vietnam’s education system.

After the signing ceremony, Professor Rosalind Croucher stressed that the Australian Human Rights Commission had been looking forward to providing specific support to help Vietnam build a human rights education system at all levels.

In the framework of this memorandum, the Australian Human Rights Commission has supported the Academy in training education management teams, developing programs, textbooks, building an interactive online learning portal about “Human rights education".