In a remote, rural primary school in north west Vietnam, Mr. Vang Van Hac, a Grade 2 teacher, is running some extracurricular activities for his students. While extracurricular activities might be the norm for students in other parts of the world, for Mr. Hac’s students – who are from the Mong ethnic minority group – these activities are the first of their kind in the area.
Mr. Hac received training from Aide et Action on Child-Centered Methods and has gone on to train the other teachers at his school. He has become very skilled at selecting suitable content and methods that engage the students, develop their abilities and allow them to enjoy themselves. He provides them with useful and very much needed knowledge about gender equality, child rights, indigenous culture and folk games. He also encourages the shy, timid and not-so-confident kids to participate in the activities, giving their confidence and self-esteem a much needed boost.
Pleased with the results of his extracurricular activities, Mr. Hak says “that many of these kids have become a lot more confident, and when we are doing these activities, the distance between me and students that we so often experience in school, seems to be erased”. One student Mr. Hak has seen come a long way is Ahn. Last year, Ahn only had one friend in school and his shyness kept him from speaking to anybody else but after a year of activities there’s been a transformation. “I like playing fishing games – I catch a lot of fish and answer many questions from the teacher” Ahn tells us, adding that now he has more friends and loves going to school.
“In the past, the lessons were tedious and boring but now learning has become a lot more comfortable, fun and effective through these interactive activities, games and reading” says Mr. Hak. We’re pleased to see that knowledge and skills that teachers like Mr. Hak have developed are bringing lots of laughter and effective learning to the students that need it most.