Since mid-March 2020, the education classes run by our program partner, Human and Hope Association Cambodia, have been temporarily closed. This was as instructed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19 in Cambodia.
To keep their students learning, HHA Cambodia has provided online classes, homework, and drop-in sessions. This has enabled them to reach 60% of their students who were able to access the internet on their parents’ phones, and the remainder with physically-distanced in-person support.
Cambodia’s control of the spread of COVID-19 has been successful since August, and as a result the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has implemented a three-phased plan for reopening educational institutions with COVID-19 standard operating procedures.
Phase 1 occurred in August, with private schools who had high safety standards reopened. Phase 2 was just implemented in September, with schools who had average safety standards reopening. Phase 3 will occur in January 2021 for the remaining schools.
HHA Cambodia has decided to reopen their in-person education classes in January 2021 as part of Phase 3. There are three reasons for this:
1. The team needs to ensure their community centre can provide a safe environment for all students and staff. By delaying the reopening, they can observe how successfully their local public school is implementing their COVID-19 operating procedures first. Additionally, HHA Cambodia will need to cut their in-person class numbers in half due to the required physical distancing, and this will take time to coordinate.
2. The local public school (where HHA Cambodia’s students study for half a day) has numerous procedures in place which will affect the time that their students can attend class, again having logistical impacts.
3. HHA Cambodia (with support from Human and Hope) has received funding to implement further COVID-19 projects to help their community with food security, and to help public schools with their COVID-19 response. Their whole team, including their teachers are responsible for running these projects to help their community address these pressing issues.
HHA Cambodia will continue to run online classes, homework, and drop-in sessions as normal until the end of December 2020.
We want to thank all of our supporters who continue to help us to help HHA Cambodia. It has been a difficult few months and we know there are many challenges ahead, but it is achievable with the hard work of HHA Cambodia and your financial support!