SAS Takes a Running Start to the School Year
PEPY’s “Sahakoom Apeewaht Sala” (SAS)—literally, Communities Developing Schools—program is off to a running start to the school year. SAS, whose projects are driven by the visions of School Support Committees (SSCs) at each of the three schools where it works, has been busy providing supplies to newly started kindergarten classes, training teachers to make and use teaching aids, and working with the Siem Reap Provincial Teacher Training College to conduct a teacher training needs assessment.
Schools in Cambodia are under-resourced, which can present a particular challenge for teaching and engaging 3-5 year-olds in kindergartens. School Support Committees at Run and Prasat Khnar were quick to recognize this problem and prioritized the purchase of appropriately sized tables and chairs, water glasses, puzzles, games, and other educational toys for their schools. SSCs raised money from their communities, and with matching funds from PEPY, were able to resource their kindergarten classrooms this month.
Not all teaching aids need to be purchased—many can be hand-made. In rural areas, which are far from book and supply shops, this is often the best option. Consequently, to complement the provision of resources, we also provided training to teachers of all grade levels on how to make teaching aids and effectively integrate them into lessons. By the end of the 1-day training, teachers had made posters, flashcards, and other aids that they could immediately use in their classrooms.
Teacher training is an important component of SAS. It not only motivates teachers, but also increases their effectiveness in the classroom. This month, we have launched a partnership with the Siem Reap Provincial Teacher Training College (PTTC), which spent two days observing teachers at Run, Prasat Khnar, and Chanleas Dai Primary schools, as part of a needs assessment that will help define the training we provide to teachers this year.