This might be the best news for parents in Da Nang: authorities in the central city plan to provide swimming lessons to all students from next year.
Nguyen Dinh Vinh, director of the education department, said the proposal is for each school to set up a portable swimming pool and offers classes all year round, and this could take a year.
“[This] will ensure that all students learn to swim and avoid drowning,” news website VnExpress quoted him as saying.
He said the department has authorized school principals to attract investments.
A US organization has offered funds and provided equipment to several schools to set up pools, he said.
His department has signed agreements with several hotels, restaurants, and military and police offices to allow use of their pools for children’s classes this summer.
The classes cost VND200,000 (US$9) per student.
Drowning is the leading cause of death in Vietnam among children aged five to 14, according to the World Health Organization.
Vietnam’s social affairs ministry said there are an average of 10 child drowning deaths a day, the highest in Southeast Asia and 10 times the number in developed countries.
As a country with 3,260 kilometers of coastline, innumerable rivers, canals and ponds, Vietnam has yet to make swimming lessons part of the standard school curriculum.
Most swimming classes are either organized by charity groups in rural areas or in large urban schools.