Vietnam Time

1/18/2018 8:58:06 AM

Teacher makes use of multi-media to prevent early marriage in ethnic community

(VNF) – Thanks to the effective use of multi-media devices in propaganda, step by step, a teacher in Nam Manh commune (Nam Nhun district, Lai Chau province) has been keeping more and more young girls and boys of ethnic groups away from early marriage and school drop-out.

Tao Xuan Khoa has been working in Nam Manh commune since 2014. He is now the Vice Rector of the Nam Manh Boarding Highschool for Ethnic students.

In over the last 3 years, the teacher has brought to his students not only the knowledges from textbook, but also the civilized mindset, the awareness of the harms of early marriage.

Nam Manh is a newly established commune in Nam Nhun district, with the two ethnic groups of H’Mong and Kho Mu accounting for the largest part of the population. The living standard of local people in the commune remain modest. The legacy passed down from generation to generation is a stagnant circle of poverty, school dropout and early marriage.

Khoa’s idea of tackling early marriage was triggered from his exposure to the burning issue in the ethnic communities in Nam Manh. Each time he visited a remote village to urge the students to go to school, he met couples of young wife and husband, whose time are supposed to be spent on studying, are living in ragged house, struggling with poverty, coping with even the most basic need for survival like food.

Thầy giáo làm clip ngăn chặn học sinh bỏ học, tảo hôn

Based on his experience with using multi media devices, Khoa opted for the utilization of technology, especially social network to change the mindset of the people. (source: GDTD)

Most of the kids - “fruits” born from those early marriages, looked pale and weak due to malnutrition and suffering from various diseases.

“There were a lot of sad stories here. I will never forget the feeling when witnessing one of my teenage students drop out of school after her abrupt marriage. It happened overnight, one day earlier, she was still a carefree girl, joining her school mates in arts performing rehearsal."

Some of Khoa’s students even became mothers when the name tag sticked on the notebook was yet to be written, as blank as their immatured mind. Someone was only 16 when she got divorced.

“Sometimes I could not recognize my students who have dropped out, because they changed a lot within a short period of time after getting married. Dealing with various hardships in family life takes away their youth at an unimaginably fast pace,” Khoa said.

"Hang Thi May, Giang Thi Bau, the name of students who got married at the age of 14-16, are those I will never forget,” he added.

Witnessing the harmful phenomenon rampantly occuring in the commune, Khoa realized that a change must be taken place, and teachers like him must be the pioneers who make it happen.

Khoa even managed to learn the H’Mong dialect to facilitate communication with local people. (source: GDTD)

He has met with leaders of the village, students’ parents, coordinated with the commune’s authorities to educate students on the negative impacts brought about by early marriage.

At the beginning, it was not easy to persuade households of ethnic minorities to let the children to go to school, instead of getting married. While their parents appeared to be committed to their promise, after a short while, they, themselves became the one who urged their daughters or sons to get married at adolescence age, or just doing nothing to prevent early marriage from happening.

Realizing that the traditional propaganda method failed to achieve the purpose of the campaign, Khoa decided to try another approach.

Based on his experience with using multi media devices, Khoa opted for the utilization of technology to change the mindset of the people.

Each time going to the village to encourage students to go to school, Khoa never forgets to bring along his camera, to capture the real images of the difficult life facing early-marriage couples. With his sincerity and friendliness, the teacher has won the trust of the “insiders”, who were willing to share with him about their life, so the film and image becoming more credible and reliable.

In addition, Khoa even managed to learn the H’Mong dialect to facilitate communication with local people. After gathering enough “raw materials”, Khoa began to craft his own ‘multi-media’ product – video clips about the real early-marriage cases  in the commune.

The sad stories about early marriage were brought to the viewers by the ‘main characters’ using dialect, which exert a strong influence on Khoa’s students.

In the short videos, Khoa also pointed out the negative effects, the way to prevent early marriage.

To inspire the youngsters in the mountainous area, he also included in his videos various examples of successful youths in the locality. He hopes that through these stories, his students will understand how life is brightened by education and work toward their dreams.

Based on his experiences with students of ethnic groups, Khoa knew that successfully persuading the students to go to school does not mean the teachers have fulfilled his/her responsibilities. It is a long road, because afterwards, if the teachers failed to retain their students, all the efforts they have made earlier will just be like a sand castle washed away by the wave. Therefore, while working in the school, he always does his utmost to offer to students the optimal conditions of living and learning on campus.

More and more students and parents are highly aware of the harms of early marriage. (source: GDTD)

 “We must make sure the students enjoy going to school, and be aware of the importance of education. For example, in our school, female teachers are in charge of guiding the students on soft skills, daily chores, and psychological issues; male teachers are tasked with instructing them on sporty activities and gardening. After class, the students can feel free to go to the teachers’ dormitory to seek advices on the lessons, areas which they are unsure of.”

In addition, we also train a core team of students who can raise their peers’ awareness of early marriage and persuade them to stay away from it.

The unwavering efforts of Khoa have paid off. In the year 2017, the number of early-marriage couples in Nam Manh declined significantly, since more and more students and parents are highly aware of the harms of early marriage.

Ethnic communities still face with various obstacles hindering development. If there are more people joining Khoa’s move, their journey to a more prosperous and healthy life will surely be shortened./.

  ( Translated by Phi Yen )
[ Back ]

Send comment