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 ~

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

No Playground Duty

I can't believe it's been more than 2 years since I arrived in Cambodia. Time flies when you're having fun. My final two months are very busy with the completion of projects and finalising reports etc. I'm also looking forward to seeing Sue who is coming all the way from Netherton to experience a bit of Cambodian life.

Last time I wrote about the Multi Grade lesson we observed at Kouk Lun Primary School, a small school about 20km out of town. Today I visited the school to make the video and to present prizes to the winners of our gender story writing competition.

Whilst sat in the open air meeting area I was struck by how nicely the children were playing. There was nobody to supervise them or organise games but I witnessed a lot of activity.  The playing area consists of rough ground under the shade of a large tree and a climbing frame with tyre swings. No pushing, arguing or fighting. Once again, the pictures tell the story.
The picturesque setting of Kouk Lun Primary School. Girls are playing a chasing game.

This game is a bit like Cat and Mouse. I didn't understand the significance of the two in the middle!
Boys and girls played together
Some children chatted with friends
.... others preferred to swing alone
Boys play at kicking flip-flops, a Cambodian favourite
Under the flag is a comfortable place to eat snacks
Last time I was at the school, children were busy fencing off an area as a bicycle park. This is now complete and bikes look very tidy. Some children cycle a long way to get to school.

Pretty Parking.
Beautiful rock garden behind the bike park. A bit dry as we've had no rain for months.
The Grade 5/6 teacher again taught a lovely lesson that I can now share with all staff and trainees through the video. He also demonstrated good techniques for using the blackboard with a curtain, something else that will benefit trainees. It's great to find a teacher who can set an example to the future generation of teachers. I am extremely grateful to him for all his help.

Monday, 28 January 2013

January 2013

Christmas in Sisophon was fun, even though I worked every day. 2013 started with Karaoke party, a trip to the Country Love Garden and another party. Christmas trees lighting the main highway made the town more festive than last year.
Sereisophon English School Christmas Party

The first week of January was busy with the second workshop for those teachers involved in the pilot introduction of English at Grade 4. Fifty teachers and nine District Education Officers attended. Progress is varied so far but there have been problems with bureaucracy which are, hopefully, now being resolved. Next month some trainees will be teaching English for the first time on Teaching Practice.
Down, up, round b

Back Writing

Next activity was staff training on teaching Multi Grade classes. None of our Practice Schools have mixed grades but our observation of newly qualified teachers highlighted that many go on to teach such classes and are not well prepared for the challenges. I took 3 trainers to observe a lesson by an experienced teacher.
Here, Grade 5 are working independently whilst Grade 6 are taught.
Now, Grade 5 are taught whilst Grade 6 complete a task in groups
Trainers were impressed by what they observed. The teacher had a hard job teaching two lessons simultaneously. Back at college I led a technical meeting with staff about the challenges and how they can be addressed. It transpired that none of our trainers have any experience with Multi Grade so more observations are planned and also the production of a teaching video for use with trainees.

Public holiday and I went with friends to a nearby reservoir. A beautiful place with tragic history as it was dug manually by local people under  Khmer Rouge.
More photos can be seen at the following link Ang Trapeang Thmor

I also enjoyed a lovely Saturday at the college where I was invited to judge the khmer curry dish in a cookery competition between the 4 second year classes.
More photos at Cookery Competition

After a welcome break, I was occupied with creating resources for a Maths workshop aimed at encouraging Grade 1 teachers in our Practice schools to use more participatory methods and teaching aids. I first demonstrated the use of resources such as number lines, dice and dominoes. Teachers were then given the materials to make their own. They loved it.
Making dice

Clocks and counting

With no child care, young children often attend with their parents. This little girl enjoyed helping.

So, after a hectic month and with all my reports up-to-date, I am in Phnom Penh with a good friend who has come for a holiday. The city is preparing for the cremation of the king's father.