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Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) has asked provincial departments of education and training to build swimming pools in schools to give swimming training to students.

The request was released after two recent cases of students drowning in two different provinces.

Nine sixth grade schoolboys drowned on April 21 afternoon while they were swimming in a section of the Tra Khuc River in central Quang Ngai Province’s Thanh Khiet Village.

Two seventh grade schoolgirls drowned on April 20 afternoon on the Ta Ruc Lake in Cam Phuoc Tay Commune, Cam Ranh City in the central province of Khanh Hoa.

The MoET asked departments of education and training to join hands with local authorities to build swimming pools and organise swimming training courses for students.

Accidental drowning prevention must be supervised closely. Supervision results must be reported to the MoET twice a year.

But some experts have lamented the shortage of funds. Associate Professor Le Huu Lap, from the Academy of Posts and Telecommunications, told Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that 15 years ago he proposed that the academy build a swimming pool and consider swimming as one of the physical training subjects.

But then he himself had to withdraw the proposal, because the academy’s funds and the funds of other universities, colleges and schools were dependent on the State budget, so building a swimming pool was difficult work.

Le Hoang Hao, Chairman of the Vietnamese Association of Educational Equipment, suggested to use of mobile swimming pools at a reasonable price, which is about 200 million VND (8,900 USD) per pool.

Nguyen Hiep Thong, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Education and Training, said that the capital’s immediate measure was to encourage parents to take their children to swimming centres to study swimming, especially in the coming summer vacation.

The department would create good conditions for enterprises interested in building swimming pools for students, and suggested such firms make contact with schools to discuss the work, he said.-VNA