-Aide et Action, Cambodia-
Below the monastery of the pagoda in the commune of Mossa, a young boy writes a lesson on the blackboard, and then reads to around 30 children aged 8 to 11 years old. Three children including two girls voluntarily go to the blackboard to read the lesson and then other children repeat it aloud. The children actively participate in this course because they are disciplined and answer the questions correctly. This is a tutoring class for children with learning difficulties conducted by Sok Pheng, a youth volunteer from The Youth Star organization, a main partner of Aide et Action in Kampong Thom province.
Because of poverty, many children in the commune of Mossa have to help their parents to work, and that is why they are often absent from the class. This causes them to drop out of school because they are not able to follow the course.
This tutoring class is one of the solutions to keep children in school. To do this, young volunteers, working with the teachers and local education stakeholders, persuade parents to bring their children to the tutoring class. 90 children with learning difficulties, divided into two sessions (morning and afternoon), attend the class two hours a day. Only the difficult points in the public school are taught. “All children prefer to learn in this class. I am very happy because they understand the lessons much better. Now they are able to read and write properly, and they can better follow the course in their public school”, said Sok Pheng.
In addition to this program, Sok Pheng provides English class for the children in the village. A good knowledge of English is important for their future professional life, but it is rarely taught or very expensive for people living in the rural areas. “I like to attend this class because I can deepen my knowledge, and I can learn English for free”, said Socheata, a grade 6 girl.
Located in the province of Kampong Thom, Mossa is a target area of the project, implemented by Aide et Action in collaboration with The Youth Star organization and The ministry of Education, in order to enroll children who are not currently attending school.
Sok Pheng, 26 years old, graduated from university in Law. He started this work from October 2015 after completing 3 months of training related to the communication and daily life of disadvantage communities, project development plan and also writing reports. For that reason, this youth volunteer acquired the skills and abilities to mobilize the educational stakeholders, the local people and authorities to involve more in the development of education in the communities. “I really like this job because I can help the children and event participate with the association to improve these poor communities”, said Sok Pheng.
I am very happy because the children can better understand the course. They are able to read and write properly. Therefore, the absence rate decreases gradually”, he added.