We are proud to announce that we have received support from The Goodridge Foundation to run preschool and Khmer language classes in Cambodia next year. This funding will impact 46 children who are living in poverty, making them literate, increasing the chance of them being enrolled and remaining in public school, and improving their behaviour.
Khmer Language Classes
The Khmer language program at Human and Hope Association creates literacy in students, so they can reduce the alarming statistic that one in four Cambodians over the age of 15 are illiterate (UNESCO 2015). Public schools in Cambodia tend to have up to 70 students in each class, leaving little ability for teachers to spend time on the students who need extra help. The Khmer language program supplements public school education so the students can confidently read and write in their native language, and progress at public school.
In these classes, the students learn the Khmer alphabet, which consists of 33 consonants, 23 dependent vowels, and 13 independent vowels. Within a year, 94% of students in the Khmer language program are literate and able to progress at public school. Additionally, the students learn mathematics, as literacy and numeracy go hand in hand. The classes are capped at 18 students, to ensure quality education.
Every Friday our students study Living Values, introduced in response to the difficult home lives of many students. They study topics such as children’s rights, hygiene and safety and learn about values of respect, punctuality, patience and cooperation. These classes have improved the behaviour and attitudes of students, making them into role models in their families and local communities.
Numerous five-year olds in the community surrounding Human and Hope Association are at-risk of not being enrolled in public school. They come from families living below the poverty line and either go to work with their parents, stay at home unsupervised, or work themselves.
To address this, daily preschool classes are provided, with each student receiving:
- Ten hours of education a week from a university-educated Cambodian teacher Khmer alphabet lessons in reading and writing
- Daily hygiene lessons
- Daily art, sport and games with a focus on teamwork
- Weekly living values lessons addressing social issues identified in the community School starter packs upon transitioning to public school
Since this program was founded in 2013, 62 students have graduated, with 100% enrolling in public school, compared with 90.56% of the general population (UNESCO 2017). 100% of children know how to read and write the Khmer alphabet by the time they transition to public school, and all graduates since 2016 continue to study at HHA in the English, Khmer, library and art programs.
We are so grateful to The Goodridge Foundation for supporting this program that is run entirely by qualified Khmer teachers. Thanks to their funding and belief in these programs, 46 Cambodian children will have a much brighter future.