School social work in Vietnam today: Situation and solution

1. Introduction School social work is a scientific subject to help the disadvantaged groups and those who live in difficult circumstances such as elderly, disabled, orphaned children, drug addiction, people with HIV/AIDS. . . [1]. The process of industrialization and modernization of the country in Vietnam has affected the students in schools: school violence, psychological crisis, orientation of life value, job selection. . . [3]. Therefore since 2003, Ministry of Education and Training has issued code for social work education of higher and college level in the higher education system thereby to build and develop school social work aiming to deal with the matters directly relating to schools in general and students in particular [2]. This article focuses on analyzing the actual situation as well as evaluating the needs in school social work of students in Vietnam today.

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HNUE JOURNAL OF SCIENCE DOI: 10.18173/2354-1067.2017-0044 Social Sci., 2017, Vol. 62, Iss. 5, pp. 134-138 This paper is available online at SCHOOL SOCIALWORK IN VIETNAM TODAY: SITUATION AND SOLUTION Nguyen Thanh Binh Faculty of Social Work, Hanoi National University of Education Abstract. This article focuses on analyzing some models of school social work in some countries in the world. Based on the sociological surveys, the author analyzed the actual situation of school social work in Vietnam today thereby evaluated the needs of students to establish school social work office in schools. Keywords: School, social work, Vietnam. 1. Introduction School social work is a scientific subject to help the disadvantaged groups and those who live in difficult circumstances such as elderly, disabled, orphaned children, drug addiction, people with HIV/AIDS. . . [1]. The process of industrialization and modernization of the country in Vietnam has affected the students in schools: school violence, psychological crisis, orientation of life value, job selection. . . [3]. Therefore since 2003, Ministry of Education and Training has issued code for social work education of higher and college level in the higher education system thereby to build and develop school social work aiming to deal with the matters directly relating to schools in general and students in particular [2]. This article focuses on analyzing the actual situation as well as evaluating the needs in school social work of students in Vietnam today. 2. Content 2.1. Method of research The author used both qualitative and quantitative methods to collect information for the article. The main researching methods are as follows: - Documentary analysis: analyzing books, newspapers, magazines, video clips. . . in relation to some issues arising in schools, school social work in high schools today. - Questionnaire method: + Number of samples: 260, including secondary school students: 200; teachers and educational managers in secondary schools: 50; parents of students: 50 Received date: 17/1/2017. Published date: 5/5/2017. Contact: Nguyen Thanh Binh, e-mail: binh1980gdct@yahoo.com.vn 134 School social work in Vietnam today: situation and solution + Sampling method: stratified random - Focus group discussion: 3 groups + High school students: 10 + Teachers and educational managers in secondary schools: 10 + Parents of students: 10 - Observation method: observed secondary school students’ attitude, behavior to their teachers, friends and families. . . - Intensive interview method: intensively interviewed experts, students, teachers, educational managers in secondary schools and parents of students: 30 - Information processing method: SPSS for Windows 16.0 2.2. History of the researched issue In the world, the school social work has been researched and developed for a long time. The school social work services have been introduced into the schools in England in 1871 and then schools in New York, Boston and Hartfort in 1906 in an effort to support the illiteracy elimination program in US families (Costin, 1969), followed by the development of school social work in Canada, Australia in 1940s, Sweden in 1950s, European countries such as Finland, German in 1960s, New Zeland, Singapore, China (Taiwan, Hong Kong) in 1970s and Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia in 1980s and 1990s. * In America In 1906 - 1907: the school social workers started to work in schools, funded by non-governmental organizations or private educational funds. They worked for the projects with a view to speed up the cooperation between the school and community (School Social Work Association of America, 2005). Schools law 1994 signed by President Clinton has affirmed the more important role of the school social workers. The goal of this law is to help all children achieve academic success. It also help the school social workers practice the measures aiming to reduce non-attendance and truancy. As the school environment changed the school social workers may shift their approaches to specific issues but the fundamental premise of school social work provided by them remain effective. In 2012, National School Social Work Association of America issued a Code of Ethics on school social work service. * In Korea During the decade of 1970 - 1980 (period of school social work): 1970s is the time when Korea’s economy was booming, causing unbalance everywhere in the society while foreign welfare agencies suspended their activities, therefore, Korea’s social welfare must be self-reliant and specialized. Together with the broad-based development of the universities over 20 years, faculty of social work has also been expanded and developed. Accordingly, while the filed of social welfare was divided and diversified, it is familiarized with the theory and concept relating to school social work. The thesises and books on school social work started to be popular in the forum of academic social welfare, introducing specialized intervention to the students who need protection. After 1990s to now: (period of school social work practice): in 1990s, especially after 1995 the school social work witnessed high speed development. Since 2003, the 135 Nguyen Thanh Binh Government has provided aids to the localities which gave priority to education welfare and tried to provide overall education, welfare and cultural services to the local students of low-income households. Thus, in the world level the method, model, function and role of school social work and school social workers are visible and more and more improved. However, due attention has not been given by the researchers in field of social work in general and school social work in particular to learn from experience in the school social work of the aforesaid countries to develop school social work in our country. Therefore, research and proposal in respect of school social work in high schools based on the developed countries’ achievements in field of school social work are very necessary for school social work of Vietnam in the present context. In Vietnam today it is in need to have school social workers working in the schools as there are many issues arising and causing negative influences on teaching of the teachers and learning of the students: truancy, school violence, health, stress, emotion disorder. . . Therefore, development and enhancement of the role of school social work in general and the role of school social workers in general and developing models of school social work are one the most important solution for dealing with social issues in relation to children in schools – the future owners of the country. Thus, the researches in the world and in Vietnam have confirmed that social work plays an important role in many different fields including school social work. In order to meet the needs of society, we should have professional and skilled staff of school social workers who have specialized methods to carry out social works effectively with sustainable development. Especially, it is in need to have staff of school social workers working in high schools to resolve the issues arising to the students during the time they are in schools. With a view to realization of above solutions, first of all we should have a study to evaluate the actual situation, learn about reasons and evaluate the needs of school social work in Vietnam. 2.3. Actual situation and needs of school social work in Vietnam today 2.3.1. Actual situation of school social work in Vietnam today Based on the statistical data, surveys and actual observation in the schools, the author found that most of schools have no school social work office nor professional staff of school social workers. This causes certain difficulties to the students as they are during special time of physical and mental development, on the transition period from a child to an adult. At the age, they have characteristics of both a child and an adult and they desire to be recognized equally as adult, they want to treat themselves as adult. This conflict between physical and mental state, limited awareness with the need of becoming adult, with the negative impact and influence from the living environment resulting in the issues suffered by the students in schools. The issues involved by the students in the schools are school violence, violation of learning and examination regulations, addition of game, social network; impolite to the teachers. . . In order to deal with the issues arising the students have different solutions. Table 1 showed that when having difficulty the students know how to use different solutions to deal with it. The solution that the students like best is calling for help from their friends in class (62.9% of the interview respondents). It can be seen that at this age they have their own groups of friend and they share viewpoints with each other about the 136 School social work in Vietnam today: situation and solution issue arising to them. This may be effective but sometime the consequence is unfortunate if it is not controlled and found by the school. Table 1. Students’ solutions for the difficult issues No. Students’ solutions for the difficult issues Ratio (%) 1 Notify the class teachers; subject teachers 47.3 2 Call for help from young pioneers organization manager or youth union officer 12.8 3 Notify parents 51.6 4 Call for help from friends 62.9 5 Seek help from psychological counsellor 17.8 6 Other solution 9.7 (Source: Sociological survey data) The second solution that students want to choose is reporting to their parents (51.6%) or teachers, class teacher or subject teacher (47.3%). The solution that can be considered as high efficiency is “Seek help from psychological counsellor” – which is deemed as professional and effective but low number of students apply only 17.8%. The reason of this actual situation is that many schools have no counselling office as well as counsellor in schools. 2.3.2. Demand to establish school social work in schools The sociological surveys showed that half of respondents (students) said that it is necessary to have social work office in schools (58.5%). It can be seen that the students recognize the role of social work office in schools and its relevance. Table 2. Relevance of social work office in schools No. Level of relevance Ratio (%) 1 High relevant 24.6 2 Relevant 58.5 3 It is normal to have or have no social work office 9.6 4 Not relevant 7.3 (Source: Sociological survey data) In fact, there were also some experiments of social work office in some schools, however, the limitations are inflexible time and place to give counselling, advices are in some certain fields only, staff of counsellors is not permanent and have no intensive knowledge resulting in low efficiency of this social work office. According to the results of above sociological survey only 7.3% of students said that it is not necessary to establish social work office in school and the reason is that they have never used or known about it so they are not aware of the role and importance of the social work office in school. In order to evaluate and affirm once again the real needs of social work office in school for the students, the author has made question to the teachers in the schools. The results of the group discussion held by the teachers showed that all students have “secret” 137 Nguyen Thanh Binh matters or what they can not share with their class teacher or friends; they should have privacy with the professional social workers. This proved the real needs of social work office in school for the students. 3. Conclusion Based on the survey results of the school students and group discussion of the teachers, it showed that the school students have some difficult problems but they do not know how to resolve them in effective way. Therefore, they and their teachers both confirm the relevance to have of social work office in school with a staff of professional school social workers who will help the students resolve the problems. The article is the research of ministerial level: "Building model of school social work in school"; code: B2016-SPH-08. REFERENCES [1] Nguyen, Thanh Binh. The necessity of school social work in Vietnam today. International Conference Proceedings: School social work - World perspective and developmental strategy for Vietnam. Hanoi National University Publishing House, 2015. [2] To, Duc. An overview of social work in Vietnam at present time. International Conference Proceedings: School social work - World perspective and developmental strategy for Vietnam. Hanoi National University Publishing House, 2015. [3] Nguyen, Duy Nhien. The necessity of school social work from the Vietnam’s education and training perspective. International Conference Proceedings: School social work - World perspective and developmental strategy for Vietnam. Hanoi National University Publishing House, 2015. [4] Anna, Scheyett. School social work: definition, model, education requirements. International Conference Proceedings: School social work - World perspective and developmental strategy for Vietnam. Hanoi National University Publishing House, 2015. 138
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