Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?"
The King will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." .......Matthew 25

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Education in Cambodia

The following is extracted from the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS) 12 year Education for all (EFA) plan.

in 2001/2 there were supposed to be approx 5700 primary schools catering for an approx (1998 data) 2.34 million kids of primary school age (6-11 years). This works out to a commendable 400 students per school. On paper at least. Many of the schools are inaccessible to the rural community and poorly attended.

Primary school attendance rate (2000) is an abysmal 67.6%, and the Gr 6 survival rate is even worse, at 47.8%.

At the turn of the millenium, at the United Nations, the world community adopted a Millenium Declaration that as recently renewed in 2008. This 'Millenium Development Goals' pledged to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty.”

The Education Goal (Target 2.A) was to "Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling"

Based on this, Cambodia has a long, long way to go.

Global figures on Primary School Enrollments (MDG report 2008).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Uniforms and books

It's quite common for us to discover that each time you try and help with a particular need you invariably uncover a host of previously unrealized needs. As we built these schools in the villages, we very soon realized that many of the children don't have school uniforms, and erm..... not much in terms of clothes as well. We regularly collect and hand out used clothes, but we no specifically need to provide school uniforms for the kids.During our last visit, we were told that many children stayed away from school that day because they knew we were coming and they had no uniforms. The other need was in terms of exercise books and writing materials. We discovered on a previous trip that although the government gives out free text books, there is no provision for writing materials. An exercise book is provided but that is very quickly used up. The children do not have pencils or pens to use. They have chalk boards but no chalk! This last trip we made, we had started a collection for used pens and pencils, and one of the brothers who was on the trip donated the costs of buying exercise books for all the schools.

If you feel you can help, or know of anyone who could adopt one of these schools in terms of providing for school supplies and uniforms for a year, please let me know. USD10 per child per year would go a very long way.