Since the primary school opened in June 2012, we now have 100 eager students. Within weeks from starting at Kuma the students are transformed from sad, malnourished children with bad skin and multiple health issues into bright-eyed little people, brimming with confidence and energy. We have also seen that their concentration increases fast, and they seem genuinely excited and happy.
An amazing amount of learning takes place including personal hygiene and organisational skills, social skills, cooperative play and, of course, the academic curriculum.
The children are learning the local Khmer curriculum, which is enriched with English lessons, dance, drama and P.E.
The staff at the Kuma school are all local and live in the area.
The children are so enthusiastic and determined and the change in them in just weeks is amazing to see. Eating properly, drinking clean water, having their health monitored and illnesses attended to has given the children more energy, cleared up skin conditions and they are starting to gain weight.
Fast Track Classes - a great success!
In June 2014 we started the first class for older children that never had attended school. They were from age 8 to 12. After 16 months they had learned the Khmer curriculum from Grade 1 to 4 and in November 2015 they started Grade 5 in the local Public school! In the afternoons they are back at Kuma Education Center for classes in English, Computer, P.E. and Art. They are also having a full meal and a snack at Kuma.
The students at Kuma stay full time for Grade 1 to 3. From Grade 4 they transfer to the local Public school and return to Kuma every afternoon for a meal, classes in English, Computer, P.E. and Art. They will also have an afternoon snack before going home. Through the transfer program we can still monitor the children and continue to help the families on their way out of poverty.
Parent meetings and workshops
Each month the parents of the Kuma children attend a meeting at the Kuma School. At this meeting they are updated on their child’s progress, they hear what the children are working towards and how they can support this learning at home.
The second purpose of the parent meetings is to educate the parents. As there are so many social problems in the village communities, the parents are taught that things such as domestic violence do not need to be tolerated in the home. Parents are put in touch with other local NGO’s and taught alternative ways to deal with conflict.
As the parents have gained knowledge, this has had a flow on effect in the way in which they deal with their children.
The parents report back with pride that their children ‘teach’ them English, songs they have learned and the stories they have been told. You can read a parents' view here.
"When Parents see their children change, they change themselves" - Chea Engsrean, former Principal Kuma Cambodia School