The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own. [ or hers :) ] ~Benjamin Disraeli ~

Thursday, 27 October 2011

World Teachers' Day

 An Apple for Teacher
When I suggested to the college that we do something to celebrate World Teacher's Day, I was amazed at how excited everyone became. I had a grant of $150 for gifts, stationery and refreshments. Trainees were asked what they wanted to do and suggested letters to teachers, role play, songs and poetry. My idea of putting the letters on a tree of good wishes was accepted with enthusiasm and the trainees organised it themselves. The Director felt a banner was important so one of my neighbours painted it for us. Once up I could see that it became the focus of the room and was essential to the success of the event.

Trainees organised the whole celebration. I had a meeting with the organisers to allocate tasks. This years event was to raise awareness of the importance of women in education. With that in mind, female trainees were given leading roles. Trainers and trainees from the college as well as teachers from our practice school were invited.
We began with speeches, I made mine in english and my assistant translated for me. After that came poems, songs and a short play by the trainees. I don't know when they practised but was impressed with the quality of drama. An impromptu song from one of the trainers proved very popular. Trainees read some of the greetings from the tree and presented gifts to teachers. Trainees all received pens.
Finishing with cakes and fruit, everyone was very happy.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Teacher Training

Life for me is not all travelling, I do work too.
One of the big problems in Cambodian schools is lack of teaching resources. Another is knowing how to use them. A Belgian NGO produced a reading scheme in khmer and asked VSO to assist in the training of teachers. Grade 1 and 2 teachers from the schools used by the college for Teaching Practice, were invited to a workshop. My colleagues already have experience of the materials and delivered very lively sessions. The school teachers were enthusiastic and loved the books.  I particularly enjoyed the session when the teachers were asked to illustrate a scene from a story.  Many of these teachers grew up during or just after Khmer Rouge and so had no experience of fun in their own education. The laughter as they worked together was very encouraging.

Flooding has made the beginning of term difficult with some schools being closed so I have been unable to follow this up and give support in the classrooms. I am looking forward to working with the children.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Rains Came Down...

 For the Pchum Ben holiday, I took the opportunity to visit Mondulkiri Province in the East of Cambodia. It was beautiful - jungle and waterfalls. All the rain we've been having meant the falls were spectacular and powerful. It also made the roads very muddy and difficult to negotiate!
Bou Sraa Waterfall
Sen Mororom Waterfall

Children in traditional Pnong dress

Elephant belonging to Pnong tribesmen


...and the floods came up.
The trouble with all this rain in the highlands is that it flows to the lowlands to add to the rain that's already falling there. Right now many parts of Cambodia are suffering serious floods that have resulted in over 140 deaths and disastrous damage to rice crops. From the bus I saw houses sitting in the water, abandoned by families who set up tents by the roadside. The new school year should be starting this week but for over 900 schools this will not be possible as they are flooded.

My college is right by the river and although I have watched the water level rise steadily, we have not suffered any flooding.  Work begins again on Monday and I'm looking forward to working with teachers and trainees on Khmer Literacy and Maths teaching.