HealthBridge Foundation of Canada is supporting our partners in Vietnam to Improve reproductive health and prevent child marriage in Son La province. Son La is a remote and mountainous northern province, home to many of Vietnam’s ethnic minority communities. The project has a special focus on adolescents, as they are often underserved when it comes to reproductive health. Strengthening comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in schools is a key strategy for improving adolescents’ knowledge of reproductive health issues and improving their confidence and practices when it comes to family planning and reproductive services.
The first step to improving CSE in schools was providing training for school teachers based on Vietnam’s new national CSE curriculum. Four training sessions were held during July and August 2022 for 40 teachers from Son La. The training aimed to improve teachers’ knowledge of reproductive health under 9 themes: Sex and gender; Puberty; Friendship and love; Safe sex and consent; Pregnancy and contraception; Sexually transmitted diseases; Child marriage; and consanguineous marriages. Two of the four sessions built teachers’ skills to facilitate educational sessions using participatory methods. Participatory reproductive health education sessions encourage students to actively participate through activities such as group discussions, games, brainstorming and role-playing. One of the teachers noted, “We feel very fortunate to be able to participate in the training, to learn a lot of useful knowledge and skills that can be applied in our daily work.”
The training sessions were designed to encourage the active participation of teachers, rather than just passively giving information, for a more impactful and memorable experience. Knowledge of adolescent reproductive health (ARH) among teachers improved significantly after the training. Participants had a positive attitude and enthusiastically took part in the training activities. One teacher shared, “The first time I attended a training class without falling asleep…".
Following the training sessions, schools will develop a sexual and reproductive health education plan for their students, in keeping with the national CSE curriculum, which will be reviewed by HealthBridge Vietnam and the health authorities in Son La. Once a plan is in place, teachers will implement the education sessions in schools, using the information and skills they learned in these training sessions.
Read more about our project Improving reproductive health and preventing child marriage in Nepal and Vietnam.