-Aide et Action, Cambodia-
A school support committee member, of a primary school in the north-east of Cambodia, is reaping the benefits of a series of workshops on multilingual education capacity building.
The school introduced multilingual education (MLE) in 2015 under the guidance of Ratanak Kiri Provincial Office of Education, Youth and Sport through technical and financial assistance from CARE Cambodia and Aide et Action, respectively, implementing Education For All: An Integrated Approach from the Cambodian Consortium for Out of School Children.
23-year-old Lem Neuy, a mother with one daughter, has attended workshops, to support out of school children in her community to get an education. She is from the Kroeung ethnic minority, which has a different language and traditions.
Her committee has been taught about the MLE program, so they can support the school through monitoring student and teacher attendance, following up on why there might be absences, and encouraging parents to send their children to the school by telling them about the importance of the program.
Neuy says multilingual education, is a great way to remove barriers to education faced by out of school children, whose first language is not the national language. “Through the workshops, I am able to support the teacher, since I know when she shall use Khmer and Kroeung, respectively. I know about the number of textbooks used in multilingual education. As a result of meetings on the importance of this for our community, parents have sent all their school-age children to the multilingual education class,” she said.
“Through information sharing and classes in their own language, children in the community learn faster. They are able to read and write in Kroeung language. They can sing songs in Kroeung. They are braver.” She says, “Now I have noticed that teachers and students come to school regularly thanks to the pretty surrounding environment and efforts by the committee to pay visits to collect students from their households.”
Neuy hopes that the school support committee and the community become more involved and that better relationships between the school and the community will exist so that more children will be enrolled in the school. She hopes that students from her community will graduate from Grade 12 or continue their study at university so as to preserve their identity, culture and traditions.