Last month, children in Cambodia went back to school after six months of closures in an effort to complete the current school year. The new school year will be not now start until January (usually November). Their return to school is phased as part of the government’s COVID-19 precautions, and they will attend school only for limited hours.
Students on the way to their classroom
Class sizes in Cambodia are high, and each class typically holds over 45 children. The new measures will see these classes split in half (sometimes into thirds) with children only attending school up to three mornings a week. This means Cambodian children will be in school for 10 hours a week. By comparison children in Australia, the UK and Ireland are typically in school for over 25 hours a week.
The mean years of schooling in Cambodia is just 4.8 years. There are concerns that many more children will drop out of school due to COVID-19’s impact. SeeBeyondBorders is dedicated to ensuring children learn in school and stay in school. We are focused in the next 4 months on recovery learning for children, filling in something of what they have missed. We are supporting teachers to carry out diagnostic assessments for children. These assessments will enable our staff to collaborate with teachers and mentors to plan recovery lessons for children after the school closures.
A teacher teaches alphabets to her students
Our work during this period is primarily focused on the Ek Phnom District of Battambang. We are supporting teachers in improving learning for children. Furthermore we work with the local communities in Ek Phnom to engage them in activities that support school development and the improvement of school standards. With community members and teachers engaged in children’s learning we can keep children in school and transform educational standards.