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Hue is building disability inclusive classrooms in Vietnam

Hoang Thi Hue is leading and implementing a disability inclusive teaching plan in her classroom in the Cao Bang Province of Vietnam. For the past 10 years, she has taught and looked after three pre-school children with disabilities, but she is particularly proud of the growth of one student, Luc Ngoc Hoan.

Five-year-old Luc Ngoc Hoan lives with epilepsy – a disability that Hue had not come across before. With very little information available she felt ill-equipped to support his needs in the classroom. She would wear gloves to take care of him during seizures because she was afraid of being infected. She often felt helpless, not knowing how to support Hoan or his family.

In August 2020, with support from ChildFund Vietnam, Hue participated in a series of trainings on inclusive education as a part of the ‘My right to education’ project. The trainings gave Hue the knowledge and confidence to create and implement an inclusive teaching plan that would keep Hoan safe while he was learning. After the training, she felt empowered.

At the training she learned how to respond to an epileptic seizure and effective teaching methods to support a disability inclusive environment. Hue designed specific activities based on Hoan’s needs and presented these to the school board. She now spends 30 minutes with him one-on-one teaching literacy, numeracy and improving his communication skills. She also organised for Hoan to have access to foam carpets, so he wouldn’t be hurt if he had a seizure.

Hue has spent time developing a stronger relationship with Hoan’s family, particularly with his mother. Like Hue, Hoan’s family didn’t understand epilepsy or how to support those who experienced it. Hue encouraged Hoan’s mother to attend the same disability inclusion training. This gave her the understanding and knowledge to be able to manage Hoan’s seizures at home. Now he was being supported to thrive at school and in the home environment. Hoan’s mother now collaborates more with the school to ensure he receives a quality education.

With these changes Hoan, can now fully participate in all aspects of school life. Hoan enjoys learning while playing with his teacher and when his mother comes to pick him up, he wants to stay and play longer. Before the training Hue made inclusivity plans on her own, but now she knows they work.

Hue said that “I no longer feel scared, I am confident and proud to help Hoan more and be able to support other children with disabilities. I would love to participate more inclusive education training so that I can improve my teaching skill.”

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

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