In October 2008 we started giving English classes 2 hours a day in the village Rhomdeng, a more remote village near the village of Chhuk. The volunteers and one or two Cambodian boys go by bike from Chhuk to Rhomdeng. The brick school building recently had some big structural improvements. We renovated the roof and replaced the old roof by a steel frame and new roof tiles. Further more, we turned the storage room into an extra classroom, so the school in Rhomdeng now has three classrooms.
Further more, we need a lavatory for the students and teachers, a for Cambodian standards very important flagpole, and most of all, a big water pump is needed for the school in Rhomdeng.
The primary school was of questionable quality. The teaching methods were out of date and it lacked any basics. Because of this and the fact that many children are obliged to work in the countryside and search for food, the attendance was very low. The parents received a letter in which we explained how important it is to send the children to school. To create more attraction, we set up a program in June 2007, to provide the children with free English classes. It’s heartwarming to find the number of students is exceptionally high. Children from other villages visit (by foot sometimes) and often travel about 8 km. In the morning during Khmer class, there’s an average of 130 children. Since we started providing free English classes in the afternoon, the number of students increased. The children can’t wait to get started. There are about 300 students daily! Because most parents allow their children time for school of 5 p.m., we now also teach from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Of 6 p.m. it’s dark and we teach with light from power generated by a diesel generator. We use 3 classrooms and have 5 Cambodian teachers, who are common rice farmers and work on the fields early every morning. We teach them English every day and prepare the daily classes with our volunteers. In total we teach 17 hours a day in the two villages Chhuk and Rhomdeng.
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