Nguyen Dinh Chieu School in Hanoi has 180  visually impaired students out of the total 1,740. However, the school only has two teachers trained to teach disabled students. The shortage has caused difficulties for both teachers and learners.

Dinh Thi Thu Huong, a teacher at Nguyen Dinh Chieu School said:”Besides regular classes, we also provide other classes such as living skills and mobility for visually impairedI students, among others. Normarly for the mobility subject, one teacher will focus on one student, but we have to teach 20 students at a time.”

“Currently a class lasts only one hour. I think it would be better if the children studied full-time. I hope there will more teachers for visually impaired student,” Ta Thi Thu Huyen, a pupil’s parent said.

Despite being trained with special education training courses, most of the teachers acknowledge that there are huge gaps between theories and reality for each student.

Pham Thi Kim Nga, Headmaster of Nguyen Dinh Chieu School, Hanoi said:”The teachers have to equip themselves with knowledge about the psychology of visually impaired students. They are also required to know Braille.” “We hope in the future there will be more training courses for teachers,” she added.

Vietnam has only two departments of the Hanoi National University of Education and the Ho Chi Minh University of Education that provide special education training programmes, though they have very limited training quotas.

Deputy Director of Special Education Centre under the Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences Nguyen Thi Kim Hoa said:”In some advanced countries, they have many specialists and effective models to learn from, however, it’s very difficult to apply in Vietnam. To help disabled children integrate into society, it’s necessary to have stronger involvement of the community, and family.”

To date, Vietnam has only about 3,000 specially trained teachers for visually impaired children. A lack of human resources in the field has hamstrung the nation’s efforts to help 75 percent of disabled people integrate into society by 2020./.