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Village School Profile –

Prey Run No. of Students Teacher School Hours Subject Taught

Cambodia - 2009, 2010

last updated July 2012

200+ (aged 5-15) Mr. Van Tim 09:00 - 12:00, 13:00 - 16:00 (Mon - Fri) English Language

Cambodia 2009 Project Cost Cambodia 2010 Project Cost Running Cost (by Camkids) Teacher Salary/ Month Land Rent (until July 2012)

In 2008, Prey Run village was identified by the NFO Community Schools programme and classes were set up under the village schoolteacher’s house. 150 children were squeezed inside the 36-metre2 space, next to a cattle pen and kitchen. There was no proper furniture installed, with poor lighting inside the tight teaching space. The huge number of students also created hygiene problems with only one toilet cubicle serving both the family and all the students.

$33500 HKD (School Construction) $14800 HKD (Toilet Construction) $100 USD/ Month $50 USD/ Month

Prey Run Village

Srangae Commune, Treang District, Takeo

Project Little Dream – Cambodia 2009 In 2009, Project Little Dream initiated the Prey Run village school construction project in collaboration with NFO. The primary aim was to build a proper school building next to the teacher’s house, providing a larger, improved learning environment to the local children, and increasing their access to education.

Location: 11 km west of provincial Takeo Town. 40-minute Tuktuk ride on muddy village roads Population: 225 households Economy: 80% agriculture (grain, herding) Infrastructure: Water : Water wells Sewage: (None) Electricity: Partial (since 2010)

Prey Run village is a compact peninsula surrounded by low-lying floodplains in the North. Along the main road, there are a few domestic grocery stores that sell some basic snacks and drinks, and some offer shaded seating areas with television, where most farmers linger in the mid-afternoon. Prey Run is a relatively cultivated and prosperous village in the commune. *Based on survey in 2011.


Prey Run Village School before 2009

Prey Run Village School after Project Little Dream - Cambodia 2009

The Design

Construction

The school follows the traditional Cambodian village building form, encompassing a 100-metre2 space large enough for over 200 children from Prey Run and neighboring villages to join the class. With a high ceiling height, and large openings with rolling wooden blinds, the design creates good air ventilation and natural lighting for the interior space, helping to create a healthy learning space and limiting the use of limited electricity resources (supplied by car battery) for lights. One feature of note is the tree standing in the middle of the school, reaching upwards from the U-shaped building. The school was designed to accommodate this tree, which Project Little Dream was reluctant to cut down whilst clearing the area.

Without power supply available in 2009, all construction work was done by hand, using only hand tools such as hammers and hand saws. Together with 3 local workers and about 10 volunteers working at the site everyday, the school took 27 days to finish, from constructing the foundation to laying the thatch roof. Tables and chairs were produced by volunteers and children from the New Futures Orphanage, and brought to the school after completion.

Bathroom facilities after Project Little Dream - Cambodia 2010

Project Little Dream – Cambodia 2010 By the summer of 2010, the number of students attending the Prey Run Village School had already increased from 150 to 210. This necessitated the building of additional toilet cubicles to increase the sanitation of the village school area. Four toilet cubicles were built next to the village school in the space of 22 days, and were gaily decorated with a Cambodian sunset and several animal silhouettes. Children were also taught basic sanitation principles as part of the school curriculum.


Village School Report - May 2011 (by volunteer from New Futures Organisation) The school seems to be doing really well. There are between 130 – 180 children who attend on a regular basis, and all are making progress in their lessons. The enthusiasm and dedication of their teacher Van Tim obviously inspires the children and they are all eager to learn. Despite not having many books, all of the children are able to read, write and repeat the alphabet. They all know the days of the week, months of the year, the numbers and are able to use basic “getting to know you” questions and in nearly all cases reply (a five year old told me her age and a little about her family yesterday!). They know all of the pronouns, the present simple of the verb “to be” and some other common verbs and know and can spell body parts as well as common words for kitchen, bedroom & bathroom objects. There is a very broad range of age and ability in the class, from 5 – 15 years. The more able students have a surprisingly high level. The top 10 – 20 % of the class are able to read aloud with good pronunciation and understand simple children’s books, give directions and talk about likes and dislikes, habits and some future plans. Some recommendations to improve the class: The classes are currently structured around repetition, call and response with no reading, writing or listening exercises and no opportunity to practice the language in smaller groups, so only very few children have the opportunity to speak individually. This is partly because of the very large class size and the mixed ability, but I would strongly recommend a training program for the teacher (and other village school teachers) taught by volunteers (preferably with some TEFL experience) both to a.) Improve the teachers own language skills, especially pronunciation and empower them to teach the children at higher level by giving them the confidence in their own abilities. b.) Teach some basic EFL teaching techniques, splitting the class into smaller groups to practice language, using games etc.

Also, encouraging the teacher to stretch the students a little, teach new language items, teach to the higher level students, so they can later share with the less able ones; rather than sticking to safe ground of what they already know. If they had a book to work from, it would make the teachers life easier and allow the children to do homework to improve more quickly. If volunteers could commit to taking a regular class with the more able students it would allow them to grow more quickly and enable the teacher to ask weaker students to speak in class (another thing he needs to learn!). It would be wonderful to have a larger lending library that the children could use. It would be a lovely job for volunteers and the children to paint the desks to brighten up the classroom and to paint a picture and a simple sentence on each desk, stimulating passive language learning (e.g. I eat an apple, the ball bounces...). We need to emphasize phonetics, both for teacher and students. Problem sounds are: “B, V, P, F + TH” as it’s sometimes difficult to understand them. In general the school is a delight to see and visit. The teacher is able, enthusiastic, willing and eager to learn more and improve both for his own sake and for his students. His obvious love and care for them is beautiful to see. The basic structure of the school is sound and rainproof and the children are extremely well-beloved and dedicated to their studies. Van Tim has great class-control and has taught the children many English songs that they obviously love singing which instantly restores harmony in the classroom. I truly hope the school continues to grow and serve this community who obviously both need and appreciate it and that I can come back and play a part in its development.


Prey Run Village School Evaluation - July 2012 (by R&D Department, Project Little Dream)

Education

Architecture

Can be better? Quality: The best amongst all our schools, however because there were never any tests or even attendance taken therefore it is ambiguous to determine how good the teacher’s teaching really is. Perhaps systems of assessment will be beneficial for both teacher and students to progress and improve.

Broken roof There has been concerns about the roof. Even though the broken parts have been fixed the root of the problems lies with the fact that the fallen leaves surrounding the central opening retains a lot of water causing the thatch to cave inwards. The tables and chairs have also been damaged by the rain.

NFO Volunteer involvement. Prey Run is one of the only schools that volunteer from NFO visits frequently. Attempts of different teaching methods were made. There are clear indication that the students are more capable in colloqaial English than other village schools in the network.

Limit Exceeded The school is running out of space, the student body has gone over the predicted amount of 150 children. Now about 6 students sit at one desk instead of 3. Total students sustaining at 200+.

Development

Future plans

Attendance implemented We have started an attendance list that aims to record basic information on our students and also monitor their attendance. This is the first attempt to be actively involved in the experience of our school from an education point of view

Redoing Prey Run from scratch is an option because the raw materials used in the initial construction was never ideal (due to budget)

Village School Profile - Prey Run  

This paper aims to provide a snapshot on the village school established by New Future Organisation, constructed by Project Little Dream in 2...

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