Enhancing Capabilities of Vietnamese Special Educators to Uplift Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
SIF expands its special education initiatives in Ho Chi Minh City following a 10-year stint in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi.
“In the past, when I saw children with autism yelling or making noise, I viewed them as disobedient and a disturbance to other children. Sometimes I found it annoying. After participating in this training workshop [with the SIF volunteers], I have learnt that the children may not have been able to express themselves in other ways,” said Nguyen Thi Xuan Mai, a Vietnamese special education (SPED) practitioner and training participant of the SIF’s Teaching and Learning for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) project in Ho Chi Minh City.
The project is the SIF’s latest SPED initiative in Vietnam. It aims to build the capacity of Vietnamese teachers in the field and in turn, uplift the lives of children with ASD. Over the next two-and-a-half-years, Nguyen, together with some 230 Vietnamese teachers, will receive training from a team of Singapore International Volunteers who are specialised in this field. Both teaching communities will work together through a series of workshops, a symposium and a study visit to Singapore for cross-cultural learning. To ensure the project’s sustainability, at least 30 Vietnamese participants will be identified as Master Trainers and Advisors to cascade the training to the wider SPED network in Ho Chi Minh City.
To this end, the SIF partnered with Ho Chi Minh City University of Education (HCMUE) and Rainbow Centre Singapore (RCS). Associate Professor Huynh Van Son, Vice Rector, HCMUE, said, “The SIF has strong and selective connections with experts, with years of experience, in intervention programmes for children with autism. Our cooperation with the SIF provides an opportunity for HCMUE to ‘join hands for a better world’.”
It is also the first project in Vietnam since the renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding between the SIF and the Vietnam-Singapore Friendship Association in June 2019.
The project was launched on 18 October 2019 by Associate Professor Huynh, Ms Lee Huay Leng, Governor, SIF, and Ms Tan Sze Wee, Executive Director, RCS. They completed a colourful artwork of various thumbprint impressions by students, teachers and parents from HCMUE’s Early Intervention Centre. The event was graced by Mr Roy Kho, Consul-General, Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore in Ho Chi Minh City; Mr Phan Duy Nghia, Permanent Secretary, Vietnam-Singapore Friendship Association, Ho Chi Minh City; and Ms Nguyen Thi Hong Diem, Acting President, Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organizations.Back
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