Our programmes aim to address issues of both quality of teaching and access to schools, to develop and build education capacity in communities where we operate. For management purposes SeeBeyondBorders divides its programmes as follows:
Our 2011 achievements are listed below under these three main headings.
We started the year with ‘Teach the Teachers’ workshops in Battambang and Siem Reap. Nearly 200 teachers attended the workshops, 98 in Battambang and 95 in Siem Reap, with 100 schools represented.
The project costs include transport, accommodation, meals and excursion fees for the Khmer teachers as well as provision of locally produced whole-class Maths resource packs for each school represented at the workshop. Each kit contains sufficient resources for 40 children to be able to take part in every activity covered in the workshops, in a rural school context. In January, the kits cost $80 each.
Our volunteer Australian teachers are entirely self-funded and donate significantly to the project itself.
Project cost: $20,000
In May, Ed and Kate Shuttleworth travelled to Cambodia to attend a 3-day conference organised by BETT (Basic Education and Teacher Training), a Belgian organisation that was due to leave Cambodia at the end of June after an 8-year project aimed at improving education infrastructure, quality of education at primary and lower secondary levels, and teacher training in colleges.
BETT had a vast amount of teacher resource material that SeeBeyondBorders has been permitted to incorporate into the Teach the Teachers programme and resource packs. BETT’s generous sharing of research and programme evaluations, as related to their experiences while providing in-school support, has been invaluable to our own development of the SeeBeyondBorders teacher mentor programme.
The first of our mentoring programmes began with a workshop for 13 experienced teachers funded jointly between SeeBeyondBorders and KAPE utilising BETT trained Teacher Trainers to provide a base of content knowledge and context for the mentoring process.
Project cost: $3,300
The October 2011, the Teach the Teachers programme saw the introduction of our first Mentoring workshop in Kompong Cham. Following up with the 13 experienced teachers who had attended the September programme, the Australian teachers provided training in in-class mentoring techniques. The other members of our team held workshops for 60 teachers at Level 2 at the same time.
Moving to Banlung, the Australian teachers ran workshops for 65 teachers who attended our Level 1 workshops. Project cost inclusions were as per January 2011, with Maths resource packs costing $60 each in October because of production refinements.
Project cost: $19,000
Following the success of the September mentoring programme in Kompong Cham, 22 teachers in Battambang and 18 teachers in Siem Reap were given 4 days of training utilising SeeBeyondBorders staff and BETT trainers, in preparation for the January 2012 mentoring workshop. This preparation programme saw the introduction of SeeBeyondBorders manuals to complement the BETT materials and better prepare potential mentors for the January 2012 training. The project cost includes mentor allowances for the rest of the school year.
Project cost: $8,000
We provided Maths resource packs to enable the teachers to put into practice everything they had learnt in the workshops. Initially SeeBeyondBorders provided one resource pack per school represented at the workshops however we are now extending this so that in due course, every teacher in our workshop programme will get their own pack for their classroom, for a typical class size of 40-50 students. In January 2011 we provided 100 packs at a cost of $80 each and in October we provided 98 packs at a cost of $60 each.
Project cost: $14,000
In July, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Jesuit Services Cambodia who have worked with us since our inception, helping us develop our approach to working in Education. We have subsequently signed similar agreements with KAPE (Kampuchean Action for Primary Education) and VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas).
KAPE is a large Cambodian NGO with a mandate to advocate for improved formal education in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Kompong Cham, Kratie, Mondulkiri, and Steung Treng. KAPE’s main role has been in the development of capacity for over 300 schools with USAID funding under the Child Friendly School programming which they pioneered and has subsequently been adopted by the Cambodian Government’s Ministry of Education Youth and Sport as their flagship education initiative.
In July 2011 SeeBeyondBorders was accredited by the NSW Institute of Teachers (NSWIT) as an endorsed provider of Institute Registered professional development for NSW teachers. This accreditation is for the Teach the Teacher programme workshops that are delivered in NSW, in preparation for the Cambodia workshops.
To maintain accreditation at Professional Competence with NSWIT, teachers must complete one hundred hours of continuing professional development during each ‘maintenance of accreditation’ period. This comprises fifty hours of Institute Registered professional development and fifty hours of Teacher Identified professional development. The maintenance of accreditation period is currently five years for full-time teachers.
Working with established local partners, SeeBeyondBorders has funded the construction of a four classroom school, together with classroom furniture and toilets. The project commenced in September 2010 and the school was officially opened in March 2011. The school will also serve as a meeting place for the village community thus fulfilling a basic need for 490 people from the village of Phnom Kpuah.
Project cost: $30,000
SeeBeyondBorders has also funded the construction of an open well in Phnom Kpuah for the whole village to use, as well as the school. In the dry season the water level can be found at about 15-25 metres deep. The well is 30-35 metres deep and constructed from metal materials for durability.
Project cost: $1,225
SeeBeyondBorders funded the construction of a 5 classroom school, together with 120 student benches, 5 whiteboards, 5 teacher desks and chairs, water tank, guttering, 3 room toilet, flagpole and gate. The completion of this building for lower secondary school gives the opportunity for children who are graduating from grade 6 to progress to grade 7 in the same locality. It also gives SeeBeyondBorders the opportunity to continue working with a community that is engaged with the notion of educating their children through teacher training, resources, mentoring and other programmes such as health and nutrition.
Project cost: $41,000
Construction of an additional three classrooms has been funded by SeeBeyondBorders within the existing school to replace the makeshift shelters that were previously in use. The community at Phum Steung has a strong commitment to education and without appropriate buildings it is not possible to further develop the level of education that can be provided. This SeeBeyondBorders project included 3 rooms in concrete, student benches and whiteboards, teacher desks and chairs. The school currently has 581 students divided between 14 classes, with 11 teachers.
Project cost: $30,000
Communities served by the Mini Schools project are small villages where families generally depend on subsistence farming for their income. The nearest Primary school is some distance away from people’s homes and there is not sufficient density of population to warrant a local school at this time. Families living in rural communities are frequently reluctant to send their children to school for a variety of reasons which include their own perception as to the value of education, cost issues, and safety concerns for their children.
The Mini Schools project has two components: the construction and repair of basic classrooms, libraries and toilets; and running costs (teacher salaries, books, stationery, etc.) plus family support. In 2011, SeeBeyondBorders has funded 7 mini schools located in various rural communities within an 80km radius of Phnom Penh.
The outcome of these mini school projects can be summarised as: 7 local village schools will be more structurally in working order; a further group of students will have completed year 2 studies and be able to graduate to the district primary school; and the practice of educating children from an appropriate age will be more ingrained in the local community. Individual Mini School details below:
Rumlech Mini School
Move location, concrete floor, wooden walls, zinc roof ($1,500); running costs ($1,829).
2011 project cost: $3,329
Kampong Krasaing Mini School
Move location, concrete floor, wooden walls, zinc roof, desks, toilet facilities ($2,350); running costs ($3,253)
2011 project cost: $5,603
Kamchat Preay Mini School
Replace walls, zinc roof, desks, toilet facilities ($1,850); running costs ($1,958)
2011 project cost: $3,808
Chambak Phlosh Mini School
Move location, concrete floor, wooden walls, zinc roof, desks ($1,575); running costs ($2,958)
2011 project cost: $4,533
Chek Mini School
New School, desks, toilets, well ($4,450); running costs ($2,620)
2011 project cost: $7,070
Ta Peck Mini School
Replace roof and walls, desks, toilets ($1,475); running costs ($1,091)
2011 project cost: $2,566
Sombok Kriel Mini School
Wooden walls and roof frame, library, toilet ($1,450); running costs ($1,634)
2011 project cost: $3,084
SeeBeyondBorders assists with the construction of ‘Salas’. Under the guidance of its partner Dhammayietra and coordinated by local Old People’s Associations (OPAs), Salas become the community centres in remote settlements, serving as places of learning, of worship, or for community celebration.
We are delighted to have this opportunity to further inter-generational education and help to foster a sense of identity in the community through support for OPAs. In 2011 we have assisted with the building of two salas at Bong Trau and Kok Ponle, both of which are still under construction.
2011 project cost: $2,000
School Nutrition Programmes
In 2011 SeeBeyondBorders continued to fund two school nutrition programmes, one of which, Piek Snaing, is sponsored by St Mary’s Primary School in Manly. The second nutrition programme runs in Kampong Krasang. Each nutrition programme costs $2,500 to feed chicken, vegetable and rice soup (“boboh”) to the children in the school and their siblings once a week, for one year. For those who come, this is their most nutritious meal for the week.
2011 project cost: $5,000
Two candidates are receiving scholarshisps funded by SeeBeyondBorders in 2011. One is a dental student who is finishing third year at university and has three more to go. His family have struggled for years to give their six children an education.
2011 project cost: $12,000
In January 2011 SeeBeyondBorders assisted with the construction of a family house (5m x 6m on stilts) where the father was a landmine victim and is disabled. This impoverished family struggles to provide food for their five children and one grandchild that live with them. The provision of support to families that are identified within the community as severely disadvantaged helps the parents send their children to school.
2011 project cost: $2,215