New student-led initiative for Chanleas Dai Primary School
Last week, we were delighted to invite two education specialists to train the primary school teachers on the steps involved in setting up and developing a student council.
The training session was run by Haspiseta, from the educational NGO Caring for Cambodia, and Chroch Sopha, a primary school teacher based in Siem Reap. Representatives from Knachou, Phrea Lean, Kambor and Tram Kong primary schools were also invited to sit in on the training session, and learn about the benefits of the program for students and schools alike.
PEPY believes that education should be an interactive experience, and the student council program is a great way of encouraging students to engage with their own learning and take ownership of projects within their school. The council will be made up of students who have been elected by their classmates, encouraging leadership and democracy. These students will then be given the responsibility of representing their fellow classmate’s issues and discussing ways to improve the running of their schools.
Haspiseta considers student councils to be extremely useful in developing both the schools and the individual students. ‘The student council is a way for students to interact and engage with their learning so they are less likely to drop-out. They can build leadership skills and learn teamwork.’
The students can discuss and share issues surrounding their school and learning environment. By developing the student’s awareness, they can discuss solutions which, in turn, will develop the whole school.
The student council promotes active participation from students in projects that directly affect their education and learning. In Chanleas Dai, the student council’s initial role will be to oversee the running of the school library. Members will decide on the rules of the library and how best to run it, as well as volunteering as librarians and keeping the area clean and tidy for students to use. Further training will be given to both staff and student council members from PEPY’s former librarian and PEPY Creative Learning Class facilitator, Yang Sreytho in November.
Loem Lida, PEPY’s Project Manager who organised this training program, hopes that the student council will provide sustainability to the school library in Chanleas Dai Primary, and that, over time, the council will grow to tackle other issues about the environment and school policies. The elected student council will learn new skills which they can take with them to the Junior High School. These skills will be transferred to the next members from one year to the next. ‘We hope that other schools will see the Chanleas Dai student council as a role model and they will be encouraged to set up their own student councils.’