In many rural schools there is a shortage of classrooms, supplies and qualified teachers. Our rural education development program began at a large public primary school in Siem Riep called Phum Thnarl. We started by building a teacher’s office for student counseling and record keeping. This opened up a classroom that we renovated into an IT lab, with the help of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Singapore.
Soon, we built student lavatories, in an effort to improve health and hygiene. We began sponsoring the salaries for English and computer teachers, and organized free extracurricular classes daily. At present there are 280 students enrolled in our English classes and 248 enrolled in our computer classes. All students receive a free textbook for the classes and a graduation certificate upon course completion. Read more
In 2006 we hosted our first English camp, which has become an annual event. Each year a group of over 100 students participating in our English program are selected to attend a 2 day immersion camp, with native English-speaking volunteer teachers. The classes are innovative and fun, focusing on reinforcement through songs, games and activities. It has become a highlight of the school year!
In 2007 we organized the building of a new schoolhouse with 3 more classrooms to replace a wooden structure that was on the verge of collapse. The opening ceremony was attended by the Governor, Regional Director of Education and other local dignitaries. The school was lauded as a “pilot project” for the region, due to the innovative training programs. One official said, “Donors have often helped build a school, but the project fails because there is no further training, no program, no maintenance. But you stick with us and see things through and we are grateful.”
In 2008 we launched a sports program to provide the students with regular PE options and their first organized team sports. Individual donors have sponsored uniforms, equipment and coach salaries. The school participated in several competitions with other schools and clubs.
In the following years, the Phum Thnarl school has often been rated at semester's end as first place in the region for various categories, such as Education, Environment, Hygiene and Discipline. What was once one of the least developed public schools in the district now has a waiting list of students eager to enroll so they can benefit from these special programs.
For the 2013-2014 school year, Family Care Cambodia established a new enhanced education project at Sondan Primary School in Siem Reap. Partnering with the Regional Department of Education and the Sondan school's director, we set up an IT lab, and sponsor salaries for English and computer teachers. This provides 100 students from grades 1-6 with daily English classes each morning and 120 students from grades 1-6 with daily computer classes each afternoon.
If you would like to help us continue and/or expand these rural development programs, please send a donation designated for Rural Education Development Programs.