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Education in Cambodia

Education has played a key role since COLT’s inception in 2005. The community school on the centre’s premises provides free additional schooling for all children in the community. The curriculum is created and implemented by a local teacher, supported by social workers and both local and international volunteers. The subjects range from English, Khmer and IT, to art and crafts, music, nature and environment, as well as sports. In addition to the regular curriculum, COLT works closely together with a nearby school, allowing us to respond swiftly to learning and development issues through remedial teaching and personal guidance.

Apart from the traditional language classes, the creative part of the curriculum contributes positively to the development of children’s social, emotional and motor skills. COLT’s community centre houses both an art and a music room where local staff teach children, supported by volunteers. This is a safe place, where the children in our community have the opportunity to develop their confidence, creativity and ability to focus. Our shared environment and sustainability are themes that reoccur in every part of the curriculum and can for example be used through reusing plastic in arts and crafts classes.

Adult literacy training

Apart from the classes for children, COLT also provides literacy training for adults. Many Cambodians dropped out of school and started working at a very young age. COLT supports these adults by training them in basic skills like reading and writing, which boosts their confidence, broadens their horizon and improves their chances to get a better job.

Parent meetings and family support

COLT regularly organises meetings with the parents of the children attending our community school. Apart from discussing their academic progress, these meetings provide the opportunity to analyse the family situation. Motivating the parents and getting them involved in the upbringing is essential in the children’s development, both at home and at school.

COLT’s community centre has both literally and figuratively a central role in the community. Apart from schooling, various activities are provided continuously, giving the local children a safe spot to play and develop. In reality, this means that some children are at our centre from early in the morning until late in the evening. This allows our social workers to observe the children's behaviour and guide them closely. When necessary, the parents will be involved and together a plan will be made to improve the family situation. With the safety of the child as a first priority, this can vary from non-committal counselling to an intervention, which will require the involvement of the local police and ministry of social affairs. In that case, children can be provided temporary shelter at COLT, while the family situation is thoroughly assessed and plans made how and when reintegration is possible.

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