To you and me it’s loose change, but in Cambodia $2.50 is the monthly allowance given by the Education Department for a teacher trainee for all toilet necessities, food , travel and clothing .
If it doesn’t sound like enough, that’s because it isn’t. Students often share overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in order to gain the skills their country so desperately needs.
The Cambodia Charitable Trust supports 40 teacher trainees by subsidising the Education Department allowance with an additional $40 a month per student. But we need your help with this. Why?
Cambodia is a country still struggling to rebuild itself after its infrastructure and education system was decimated by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s, when an estimated 75 per cent of teachers, 96 per cent of university students and 67 per cent of all primary and secondary school pupils were killed. Pol Pot the leader of the Khmer Rouge saw any educated person a threat to his ideology that all Khmer people should be labourers.
With Cambodia’s education system having undergone dramatic changes in recent years, some progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go.
The quality of teaching is the key factor in keeping children at school in Cambodia. Going forward, graduates have a critical role to play in educational development. In the past, teaching methods consisted mainly of instruction or recitation, with the time spent on creative thinking being limited or non-existent. After the Khmer Rouge regime, to get the schools open again quickly the government gave new teachers only 2 months training .
Teacher trainees supported by the Cambodia Charitable Trust in Kampot and Takeo are being taught effective methodologies over two years, resulting in a better education for primary and secondary students.
Despite the hardships trainees face, teaching is considered a highly attractive profession in Cambodia and teacher training colleges are bursting at the seams.
Each year 200 trainees graduate from Kampot and Takeo and, as they leave to work in schools, the Trust gives each trainee a ‘teacher pack’, containing classroom materials, stationary and games, which they would otherwise not have. By providing these materials, the Trust is helping to encourage teacher excellence.
The Trust has also improved living conditions at Takeo Teacher’s Training College by providing new bunks, toilets, a washing area, communal kitchen and storage area with shelving, greatly improving conditions for students.
To continue this important work we need a steady income flow. You can help by sponsoring a teacher trainee for $40 per month ($480 annually), or making a one-off donation of $40 for a teacher pack.