Outcomes and Impact from Vietnam’s 2011-2012 School Year Programs June marks the end of the 2011-2012 school year in Vietnam. As children break for the summer, a review of AIP Foundation’s school-based and public awareness programs shows that the Vietnam team has achieved outstanding results.
Helmets for Kids 29 schools in 7 provinces in Vietnam have benefited from Helmets for Kids intervention this year. A total of 17,281 helmets were distributed to the students and teachers of these 29 schools. Under this program, 272 form teachers have been trained in helmet use and equipped to pass on this knowledge and skills to their peers and students, as well as discuss this matter with the parents. Ten hand-over ceremonies were organized with the participation of sponsor representatives, government officials from relevant departments of traffic safety, education and training, traffic police, volunteers, as well as the schools’ students, teachers and parent representatives. As these ceremonies were extensively covered in the media, they did not only launch a new road safety habit in the program schools but also helped promote child helmet use further on a larger scale in the communities. In addition, 25 extra-curricular activities were organized in program schools with a view to reinforce the road safety knowledge and skills that the students learned in class. In many of these activities, children had opportunity to speak up about road safety, whether through their paintings or presented verbally at the forums organized specifically for them. All of these Helmets for Kids interventions have resulted in a considerable increase in helmet use across all program schools, ranging from 21% to 94-95%. As of 30 May 2012, the program schools reported nine crashes in which a helmet donated through Helmets for Kids saved the life of a student. This school year also marks an expansion of Helmets for Kids to rural provinces in Central Vietnam, where there is limited road safety aid. This was praised by the national government departments focused on road safety, for reaching out to the areas where help is most needed.
Safe Routes to Schools Two schools in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 9 received Safe Routes to School interventions this year, with a total of 2,318 students and 54 form teachers benefiting from the road safety education support. The schools received 8 mock-up street models. In addition, 2 traffic simulation corners were installed in school yards, complete with traffic lights and road signs, an intersection, 8 bicycles and a traffic police officer costume. In addition to these teaching tools, 54 teachers have been trained and equipped with knowledge and skills to lead interactive road safety
classes for their students. In addition, 2,400 road safety booklets were distributed to the parents so as to enable them to discuss road safety knowledge with their children at home. Furthermore, extra-curricular activities and a traffic safety camp were organized for all program schools in District 9 with the participation of 813 volunteers. As a result, studentsâ€™ knowledge has improved significantly. Grade 4 and Grade 3 students showed the highest increases in their knowledge test results: on average 23.2% and 19% increases, respectively. An evaluation is also being planned which will assess the effectiveness of the road safety educational support provided under Safe Routes to School with a view to improving this support next school year.
Safe Kids Walk This Way Various activities have been completed during the 2011-2012 school year in order to improve pedestrian safety in Trang Bom district, Dong Nai province, primarily through environmental modification, education support and research. Overall, 32 primary schools with a total of 22,000 students in Trang Bom district have benefitted from these interventions. Specifically, environmental modifications were undertaken to improve the traffic infrastructure around Nguyen Tri Phuong School, with 2 sets of school signs, 3 zebra crossings, 4 speed bumps, and 1 flashing yellow traffic light installed. These speed calming and safety measures, together with the hiring of crossing supervisors, helped improve the sense of safety of the teachers, students and their parents around the school. The percentage of students who reported feeling safe near their school increased from 61.27% in the pre-project assessment to 75.51% after the project. In terms of educational support, 62 teachers were trained and equipped with knowledge and facilitation skills in order to teach their students road safety more effectively. In addition, 22,000 pedestrian booklets and 1,341 reflective jackets were distributed to the students. Furthermore, an activity guide was completed for the Traffic Safety Park and it was put to use by the primary schools in Trang Bom District for practice sessions. A traffic safety camp at the district level was also organized, bringing together students from 32 schools for a day of fun outdoor activities. In this regard, studentsâ€™ test results showed an improvement in the percentage of correct answers before and after the activities. Findings from focus group discussions also revealed that educational activities organized for Trang Bom students were highly appreciated and considered as innovative ways to engage and enhance studentsâ€™ road safety skills and behaviors. Pedestrian research was also undertaken in Dong Nai province for the second year in a row in 2012. Data was collected from two large hospitals in the province, Dong Nai General Hospital and Dong Nai Pediatric Hospital, as well as a survey involving 6,767 students from 23 primary schools in the province. The findings show deterioration in the traffic safety situation in Dong Nai, emphasizing the need for continued traffic safety interventions. Specifically, data from the first quarter of 2010 to 2012 shows that the number of children seeking emergency treatment for road traffic injuries increased sharply in all age groups. The number increased by 71.4% among 0-4 year olds, by 155.9% among 5-14 year olds, and by 63.6% among 15-19 year olds. Moreover, child pedestrians under the age of 15 accounted for a quarter of road crash victims who receive emergency aid at Dong Nai Pediatric Hospital. AIP Foundation plans to share the
pedestrian research results with relevant national and local authorities as well as with the public in order to generate more attention and support for pedestrian safety. Furthermore, Safe Kids Walk This Way’s interventions in the 2011-2012 year were extended to Nam Dinh province through the “Click on Safety” e-learning program. 668 students from Xuan Trung primary school participated. One set of equipment including a laptop, a projector and a screen, as well as the e-learning CD-ROMs, were provided to the school. All Grade 1 teachers were trained in facilitation skills for the e-learning curriculum. In addition, 668 reflective jackets and 700 pedestrian booklets were provided to the students and a traffic simulation corner was installed in the school yard. Results show that the students who were taught with the e-learning curriculum scored higher than those taught with the traditional methods, both right after the completion of the course and 5 months thereafter.
Model School Zone Also aiming to improve pedestrian safety, Safe Kids’ Model School Zone was implemented in Nguyen Thi Minh Khai school in Trang Bom District, Dong Nai province. Focused primarily on environmental modifications with complimentary educational and enforcement activities, this project followed a highly data-driven and participatory approach. Pre-project assessment involved the students themselves through a methodology called Photovoice, as well as a committee comprised of not only project staff and the provincial traffic safety committee, but also community leaders, traffic police, parent representatives, and beneficiary schools. As a result, a thorough and informed intervention plan was developed and endorsed by all parties concerned. It is expected that when the interventions are completed in the coming school year, safety in this school zone will be significantly improved for the students and surrounding community.
“Click on Safety” e-Learning In addition to Xuan Trung School in Nam Dinh province, “Click on Safety” e-Learning was implemented in another 2 schools in HCMC, involving another 498 Grade 1 students. In addition to the provision of 2 set of equipment (laptop, projector and screen) and the e-learning CDROMs, 15 Grade 1 teachers were equipped with skills to facilitate e-learning classes. Two traffic simulation corners were also built to further enable practicing road safety skills outside the classroom. A quasi-experimental design was applied to assess the effectiveness of the e-learning curriculum, and showed that e-learning was more effective than the traditional curriculum in increasing students’ knowledge of road safety. Focus group discussions with teachers and school leaders also demonstrate that interaction with computers and animated cartoon characters make the students very engaged in the learning process. Teachers also identified some areas for improvement. It is expected that a review workshop will be organized at the national level with a view to having the e-learning curriculum revised and completed for application for Grade 1 students nation-wide.
Public Awareness Campaign During the 2011-2012 school year, the public awareness campaign’s communications activities on child helmet use have reached a total of 53 primary schools in Hanoi, Da Nang and HCMC, mainly targeting the students’ parents. These include distribution of 81,100 informational flyers, 35,000 helmet discount vouchers, key chains with child helmet use messages, and the organization of 3 workshops involving 237 parents and teachers in the 3 cities. The campaign also went beyond the schools’ boundaries to include flyer distribution at 4 popular supermarkets in the 3 target cities and at Cho Ray hospital in HCMC. In addition, 1 million issues of Big C supermarket’s catalog were distributed which included campaign materials. Furthermore, a number of public events were organized, such as Family Day in HCMC (attended by more than 1,000 families), a high level workshop on child helmet use in collaboration with UNICEF and Ministry of Transport, a road parade in partnership with District 9’s government in HCMC, 2 educational sessions in collaboration with the Hanoi Traffic Safety Committee and press conference launching the campaign’s public service announcement in Hanoi. Thanks to the participation of high-ranking government officials and celebrities such as Miss Vietnam 2008, Miss Universe Vietnam 2008, and the supermodel cum UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador who attended these events, extensive media coverage was generated around the matter of child helmet use. During 10 months beginning in November 2011, there have been 55 articles in the press, 182 online articles, and 30 instances of television coverage. At present, the campaign’s TV commercial is being aired extensively on national and local channels in Vietnam’s 63 provinces. Upcoming activities include a print ad campaign, social media activities, and reinforced police enforcement supported by WHO. Pending an ex post evaluation planned for the end of September, feedback received from parents show that the workshops delivered are informative and helpful for the parents and other participants to become effective agents in promoting child helmet use within their area of influence. In addition, public events such as Family Day were highly appreciated and considered effective educational channels for all families. Particularly, recent parent focus groups in Hanoi and HCMC suggest that the campaign has helped eliminate common myths and change parents’ attitudes toward child helmet use to some extent.