We are actively involved in promoting better education in SE Asia. Some examples of our programs include:
Kampuchean Action for Primary Education
In Cambodia, we have partnered with KAPE to build, develop and scale a New Generation Schools (NGS) programme. This is the leading educational project in Cambodia and is now uniquely supported financially by the Cambodian government. The basic premis of NGS schools is to work with the government, within the existing education system, the develop academically excellent schools that are available to children from any socio-economic background.
In most schools in Cambodia, children learn by rote and teachers are often corrupt, and mostly inept. However, by paying additional salaries to teachers, banning teacher moonlighting, improving governance structures, building libraries and IT rooms, upgrading the school environment and changing the children and indeed parent culture, New Generation Schools not only enable vast improvements in students’ education, and attitudes towards school, but also serve as a pioneering model of how collaborative work between government and NGOs can result in fundamental change.
For both KAPE and us, this is not a numbers game but a quality one. This is about getting children with real potential into good schools. The results are amazing, and KAPE’s teachers are both dedicated and innovative and its students engaged.
We are now funding the further development of the model and working to ensure that the programme can scale. We took on another school at the government’s request this year and hope to expand to a further two next year. These schools are located all around the country and, if successful, will prove that the NGS model is ready to scale nationally and even internationally. The impact on education in Cambodia and beyond could be huge.
Teach For Cambodia
The FFF is supporting the development and start-up of Teach For Cambodia (the equivalent of Teach First, in the UK). We are big fans of the Teach For All model, which not only seeks to provide schools with high quality teachers but also works to create a cadre of young professionals dedicated towards improving education systems for the better.
Over the years of our involvement in education in Cambodia, we have witnessed the huge problems caused by teacher shortages. Teach For Cambodia will take important steps to address this problem. Moreover, as in other countries, Teach For Cambodia is aiming to train and inspire its Fellows to be leaders within the education system, NGOs, government, etc., and use their influence to improve education, more broadly.