Notes from a conversation with Rithy Thul
Upon finishing three school selection activities in the Primary School Development Program (PSDP), I am left with great enthusiasm for this promising project. The PSDP selection activities are a fine way to learn about the hurdles each community faces in its development, as well as the people’s general approach to education. Cambodian communities share many characteristics—yet it is crucial to understand their differences as well, for each one has a unique set of needs and opinions.
Because of this individualized approach, I think PSDP has strong potential to be a sustainable and fruitful project. The program seeks to illuminate the challenges, resources, and priorities of each community, not just for outside evaluators but for the community itself. I believe this awareness is the proper foundation for development, because it helps people to understand their individual roles in the community’s improvement. In short, the awareness that PSDP creates will encourage initiative within communities.
If successful, this project could serve as a model for change in Cambodia. Self-awareness is the tool that should empower internal proactivity and a communal ownership of its future.
I hope that my work will help PSDP live up to its great potential. Through close monitoring and periodic re-evaluation, I believe we can shape the program into an effective model for sustainable development. And if our project is successful, we can then introduce it to other areas of Cambodia.