Slarkam English School, Battambang
01.12.2008 - 03.12.2008 25 °C
As I wrote to many of you in an email a while ago, I've come across a small English school here in a village outside Battambang where a group of teachers offers English classes to the childreen and teenagers in the village for free. This is the onl opportunity for those from poorer families to get some education. Even though public school is free as well in Cambodia, many poor families can't afford the compulsory school uniforms, learning materials and regular bribes that many low-paid teachers ask for to have enough to feed their families.
Slarkam school however is open to all children and the 16 volunteer teachers there give lessons every day (Mon-Sat) in rooms rented from a public school after the normal school hours (4-6pm).
The teachers receive no or tiny salaries per month and income for the school is only generated through small tuition fees that those families pay who can afford it. Money however is used for rent, teaching materials and generator fuel. Until very recently there was no generator and therefore no lights when it went dark outside before 6pm but they managed to obtain some small funding to buy one (at the cost of teacher salaries as well unfortunately). They've been running this school for a couple of years now without any state or NGO funding and they really do a great job at it and are very committed young people with many future plans on how to expand and make it better. After 8 months in this country I can honestly say that the drive and commitment they have, are not common at all, especially in the education sector, where so little change happens and salaries are at the very bottom of the scale. So this is why I think they really do deserve support to continue what they're doing so passionately already.
They do have many plans and with the support many of you have given already - $800 in total for this project, we can achieve a lot. I will go out to meet them again before flying home for Christmas and how to use the money, probably some of it to top up salaries and buy teaching materials for the students over the coming months and then also some small investments in audio-visual equipment and teaching CDs for students to practice listening and understanding.
I'll try and get hold of a leaflet with more information about the school and email it around for those who'd like to forward it on. Will keep you posted!
Have a great week!