VietNamNet Bridge – Something took place right in Hanoi--some parents blocked the way to prevent HIV infected children from entering schools and forced them to come back to their center.
Going to school just to attend the flag saluting ceremony
The “Rainbow shines” camp organized for the students infected
with or affected by HIV late last week in Ba Vi district.
Pham Dinh Duc, 13, was a fifth grader of the Yen Bai B Primary School in Ba Vi district in Hanoi in the 2010-2011 academic year. However, though Duc was listed as a student of the school, he and the other 33 students could only go to the school on Monday morning every week to attend the flag saluting ceremony.
After the ceremony, the children had to return to the Center for Labor and Social Affairs No 2, to attend the classes there. These were the special classes, because students of different grades were gathered in the same classes.
Since 2001, the center has become the place nurturing the HIV infected children. Duc, 13, is now the eldest brother of the 14-children family at the center.
In the 2006-2007 academic year, the first five children of the center entered the first grade, including Duc. At first, the class was opened right at the center, while the teachers were the ones sent by the Yen Bai B School.
In the 2008-2009 academic year, after a lot of exertions of relevant agencies, Duc and his friends could go to the “normal classes” of the Yen Bai B Primary School in a plan to help them integrate into the community.
However, the children were not lucky: just after three weeks of going to the school, the children were prevented from entering the school by some parents.
Of course, the parents were not allowed to do the thing they wanted. Therefore, the parents forced their children to stay off from the school. As a result, Duc and his friends had to return to their classes at the center. Only one year later, they could go to the school to attend the flag saluting ceremony on Monday morning.
After finishing the primary education, the unlucky children were informed that they would be able to go to the Yen Bai Secondary School. However, the way to school of the children still has been blocked by extreme parents. Failing to persuade parents, on July 18, the Ba Vi district people’s committee had to release a notice that the children still have to keep studying at their center until favorable conditions appear.
The struggle of the love and reason
Dr, Lawyer Trinh Thi Le Tram, Director of the Center for the Law, Healthcare, HIV/AIDS Policies, said that she has discussed with the parents in Gia Lam district in Hanoi on the case of two HIV infected students. Finally, the students have been able to go to a “normal class at a normal school”, though there are only two of them in the class.
“We are still cannot be too demanding at this moment. We failed to persuade the parents to allow the children to attend the flag saluting ceremony with other friends, because the parents refused our proposal. However, we will not give up,” Tram said.
In fact, Tram was successful in many cases when she struggled for the right to go to school for many children. Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong, born in 2001, whose parents both died from AIDS, is one of the cases.
Since Phuong got five years old, her grandparent began applying study for Phuong. With the great efforts of the old man, Phuong was many times enrolled in different schools. However, she could go to the schools for just several days until the local parents “boycotted” Phuong by restricted their children to go to the schools.
As a result, Phuong was arranged to sit a special class, where there was only one teacher and one student. The teacher never lost heart in teaching Phuong, but the small girl could not withstand the attitude of estrangement by the community.
However, with the support by the Center for the Law, Healthcare, HIV/AIDS Policies, Phuong has been allowed to the first grade of the Mai Dong Primary School since the 2010-2011. Especially, Phuong now can sit in the same class with many other friends.
“Persuading parents to allow their children to sit in the same classes with HIV infected children is really an art. This is a struggle of the love and the reason,” Tram said.