Where and Why?
Just 55 km from Phnom Penh and 20 km from Takeo Town is the Tria commune consisting of 11 villages, with a population of some 10,000 people. The vast majority are Khmer, the ruling party is the Cambodian Peoples Party and the majority of people are Buddhist, with a small Evangelical Christian minority.
It is extremely difficult for the country and poor children to attend a pre-school in preparation for primary school and this means that many don’t manage to get in. That’s why the “Community Development – Preschool” exists. The Cambodian government is in favour of initiatives to offer preschool classes to prepare children for primary school, as is the local council. At the moment we have three-year contracts with the Tria Leur Primary school signed by the principal, (See photo of Mr Ngoun Pak) to house the preschool which utilizes two classrooms.
As well as the government approval we have the favour of both the Commune Head and Village Head to maintain the preschool. The Principal and the parents of the children are very happy to have the preschool on the premises of the Tria Leur Primary school, rent-free. But “Good Neighbours” is expected to help with developmental projects for the primary school.
Our vision, therefore, is to:
- prepare four and five-year-olds in Tria socially and intellectually for success in their primary school education, so as to decrease the risk of their dropping out of school before completing Grade 12;
- take the necessary steps to have the preschool move towards being self-sustaining within five years by registration fees or voluntary donations from the children’s parents, an annual graduation concert and arts and crafts that are being sold to raise funds;
- continue with the programs of the preschool every year:
- Classroom 1: 25 – 30 children, 4 years of age.
- Classroom 2: 25 – 30 children, 5 years of age.
- ensure an adequate number of teachers and their training and development;
- initiate other pre-schools as this becomes possible.
Who Gets the Benefits?
Families with four and five-year-old children who are preparing to enter Grade 1 are greatly benefitted. The education the children receive also helps to improve family and village life, community awareness and good values while the presence of the Good Neighbours’ teachers in the school primary school buildings enhances the values and teaching skills of the other teachers.
Lessons happen Monday to Saturday, with the exception of Thursday and the kids learn English (the alphabet and numbers), Khmer (mostly the alphabet and numbers), storytelling, good manners, art and crafts, hygiene and social expression. The annual concert and exhibition is a great opportunity to observe the children’s development and for the parents to donate voluntarily.
Educational Life International Cambodia (ELIC), with whom we cooperate, regularly conducts leadership and teaching skill’s training for our staff and this is articulated in our strategic plans. In building up the competencies of our staff in leading, teaching and discipleship, we aim to see them take on leadership roles in our project sites, both in Tria and Phnom Penh. The leadership of ELIC will start to integrate the Good Neighbours leadership team and staff into our training plans and build the team in terms of cohesion and effectiveness in ministry.
If you would like to join hands with us to see more Cambodian children preparing for success in primary schools then please click on the “donate to this project” button on this page. Thank you.