Vietnam

Road book : On the path to discovering the school supported by Colas and the missions conducted on-site by Enfant et Développement

Boarding Schools

In mountainous regions, there are numerous obstacles between children and schooling - slippery and dangerous roads, the distances involved, unwelcoming school environments – and many families hesitate to allow their children to go to school as they fear for their safety and wellbeing. Boarding schools provide a direct long term response to these problems and are a key component in the ‘child-friendly’ school programme. They make it possible to meet several objectives: providing access to education to children from the poorest and most geographically isolated families, providing decent living conditions (often better than home), providing a safe and stimulating environment for the children. This is more than just a simple service, it’s about creating a practical lifestyle that respects children’s needs. That’s why the operation takes place at various levels: building or renovating appropriate buildings (dormitories, kitchens, dining rooms, showers and toilets); providing sufficient equipment and supplies, with a particular focus on hygiene; healthy food provided from the establishment’s own kitchen gardens; community involvement and cooks trained to prepare balanced meals. A friendly atmosphere is created by putting the emphasis on sharing activities, time and lifestyle: games, art and sports, creating leisure and study areas (libraries), involving children in managing and participating in boarding school life and teaching them to take on responsibilities. Finally, in-depth work is carried out with the schools to ensure the safety of the children.

School Libraries

School libraries have a two-fold objective: to provide an appropriate environment for children’s psychosocial development and wellbeing and to improve their training conditions. They are designed to be warm and welcoming, decorated with bright colours and have “multifunctional” areas that provide access to a wide range of activities. In addition to reading and book borrowing services, they provide a selection of recreational and cultural activities, laid out in different areas of the room per topic: writing, drawing, modelling, music, board games, traditional arts and culture. The libraries are designed both for education (in particular the learning of foreign languages) and creativity. Everything is done so that the children can be independent and are happy to spend time there: a colour-coded classification system, freedom to choose their own activities, a variety of books and magazines. The physical environment is also designed especially for children with the right size tables and chairs. Libraries are open during school hours and for activities supervised by teachers during playtimes. Outdoor reading areas have also been set up in the playground to make books easily available and to encourage the children to read more.

Copyright Enfants et Développement

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