A number of schools in Ho Chi Minh City are taking more efforts to ease stress on students given a situation that there is a close relation between students’ mental disorder and their studies.
A recent research titled “Tỉ lệ rối nhiễu tâm trí và các yếu tố liên quan ở học sinh THPT” (The portion of mental disorder on high school students and related factors) by Nguyen Thi My Chi, a bachelor of public health from the HCMC Medicine and Pharmacy University, showed that the pressure from the school curricula, exams and the relation with teachers are the main causes of the illness.
Over 73 percent of surveyed students suffer a mental disorder because of their curricula and 69.2 percent of them have the illness due to the pressure from exams, while 71.3 percent are mentally disordered due to pressure from teachers.
Nguyen Van Tri, principal of Vo Truong Toan Elementary School in District 10, said the school is running six clubs including basketball, soccer, vovinam, fine arts, art skills, and chess with the participation of around 900 students.
“Our school invites club coaches from District 10’s Sports Center, the city Children’s House, etc. Depending on the teachers and students’ opinions, we can change if necessary,” said Nguyen The Dung, vice principal, head of the school’s outdoor activity organizing board.
The school has two main shifts in the morning and afternoon and the later shift is aimed at helping students reduce their studying stress.
“All my friends like the afternoon shift because we can play soccer, basketball and get to know many friends from other classes. How fun it is!” 4th-grade student Nguyen Hoang Gia Bao expressed.
“The children cannot only breathe fresh air in the outdoor atmosphere but also have 2-3 hours to play. I know my child goes to school happily since he keeps telling me about his school activities,” a parent said.
Moreover, Vo Truong Toan school also brings some classes into the school campus where students can work in groups as well as opens its library during summer.
Such activities have been conducted at the school during the last five years. The school is planning to open a robotics club in the near future.
Channels for students
Trung Vuong High School in District 1 also has many clubs, including sports, chemistry, maths, etc.
On May 7, the History Club of the school held an event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu victory.
The event included quizzes related to the victory’s milestones and aimed to help students review the subject’s knowledge as well as reduce stress before the coming graduation and college entrance exams in June and July. Earlier, the club also organized numerous similar events.
Moreover, the school has a psychological counseling room and a mailbox “Dieu Em Muon Noi” (What I Want to Say) for students to speak out their thoughts.
According to Nguyen Huynh Long, principal of the school, many of his students live in poor families in District 1, 3 and 4.
Nine to ten percent of them have split parents so they often suffer from a heavier pressure than other students.
The principal also joins to help students by giving his email address and talks to them when they have problems. The school has built up a team to pool students’ opinions through social networks as well.
The school’s channels have become familiar addresses and attracted more and more students to come and share their stories, from the school regulations, comments on the teaching team to social aspects like the LGBT (Lesbian – Gay – Bisexual and Transgender) community.
“My family’s problem really influences my studying. I didn’t know anybody to talk to until I emailed the school counseling staff and they have encouraged me a lot. Now I know what I should do,” said L.T., an 11th-grade student from Trung Vuong High School.