The local Southern Youth Center (SYC) has resumed its life skills courses for kids since June, attracting the participation of more than 1,000 pupils. Some 100 learners were scheduled to join the first eight-day course starting June 12 and taking place in Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Vung Tau and HCM City. They are set to be trained to develop disciplinary habits as well as independent and adaptive living skills so that they can take care of themselves and know how to deal with dangerous everyday situations.
Also in June, the An Nhien center for life skills and experiential tourism kicked off its first summer programme title ‘Canh dong bat tan’ (the endless field). Located in the neighbouring province of Long An, it offers a series of enticing activities such as hunting fireflies, picking water lily, cycling, swimming, canoeing, exploring the film set, and visiting an essential oil processing factory.
A representative of the centre, Nguyen Quoc Viet, said the establishment aims to help children experience the nature in rural areas, thereby having a richer and more diverse view of life.
Meanwhile, since the middle of May, the municipal children’s house opened classes in martial arts, painting, music, modern dance, handicrafts, robotics, and modeling. Their fees range from 400,000 to 1 million VND (17.23 – 43.08 USD), which are affordable for most urban families.
English language classes are a key activity of many children during summer, with popular organisations in the city like the Vietnam-USA Society English Centers (VUS) and ILA offering myriad activities aiming at children aged between 4 and 16.
In addition to life skills, English language, and military courses, those teaching children how to swim are also on parents’ radar. Vietnam has decreased the number of child drowning cases by 100 each year since 2016. While this may seem like an encouraging outcome initially, the fact remains that drowning is still among the leading causes of death for children in the country.
Nguyen Manh Ha, a resident from Thu Duc city, has registered for his son a two-month swimming course, expecting the eighth grader to swim properly and know how to handle others’ drowning at sight.
Ha said as children see their friends being swept away, many jump immediately in the water for rescue and end up getting themselves in trouble. Therefore, rescuing a drowning person also requires skills, he noted.
Nguyen Kien Toan, a division head at the center for fitness and sports in Phu Nhuan district, said that swimming is a sport for health as it boosts breathing effectiveness, which can solve some post-COVID-19 problems in children.
According to Toan, his centre is running classes on drowning prevention for kids and plans to work with a number of local schools to hold a swimming festival in August.
From the professional perspective, Le Minh Huan, lecturer at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Education (HCMUE)’s Department of Psychology, said the summer holiday is important for children to learn new skills, refresh their energy, and prepare their mind for the upcoming academic year.
Outdoor activities and exposure to the nature stimulate the development of their thinking, emotions, knowledge, and skills, Huan added.
Safety is a top priority in choosing summer camps, recommended Tieu Minh Son, communications lecturer of the city’s Van Lang University, who has taught many life skills classes for children.
Health care conditions are also important, particularly for kids who have yet to receive COVID-19 vaccination, he advised./.