ISF Education Programme 2019 Year in Review
We have many reasons to celebrate this year in education. Our holistic Education Programme aims to help disadvantaged and marginalised children with little-to-no-education escape poverty. We do this with a combination of no-cost accelerated learning programme to get them reintegrated into Cambodia’s public school system quickly, healthcare, and nutritional support. Our community outreach projects help their families develop the skills they need to gain employment. When students graduate from our Catch-Up Programme, they continue to receive support from ISF throughout their educational journey.
See some of the highlights below then read on for some noteworthy stories from 2019.
- 84 new students accepted into our Catch-Up Programme, bringing our total students to 726
- 80 students graduated our accelerated learning ‘catch up’ programme and were reintegrated into state school
- 98% of state school students we support passed their final grade exams
- 99% of our catch-up students have passed their exams
- 35 out of 36 ISF grade 9 students have graduated from lower-secondary school
- 14 students are receiving ISF support in tertiary education
Promoting English Speaking Skills
We kicked off the year with our first-ever English Speaking Contest. Open to all ISF students, the contest aimed to inspire students to speak more English outside their classrooms and build confidence in public speaking. 40 students entered in total with three taking top places. Along with trophies, the winners were treated to a cultural exchange trip to Hong Kong. In June, those winners – two girls and one boy – travelled to Hong Kong with their English teacher. For two of them, it was their first time leaving Cambodia and taking a flight. During their trip they were able to participate in classes at West Island and KGV schools, watch dragon boat racing and visit the Hong Kong Football Club.
We recently caught up with Panha, one of the dedicated students who went on this trip which he credits with fueling his passion for architecture. Read his story
In an effort to promote experiential learning we brought the classroom outside with a field trip to Phnom Sontuk. In February, 30 of our state school students explored extant history in this cultural and natural site in Kampong Thom Province. Among other things the 7 and 8 graders marvelled at massive Buddha statues carved from mountain rock, a three storey sandstone pyramid, and sculptures erected during the reign of Preah Ponhea Dharma Reacha (ca. 1474-1494).
Later in the year, we sent another group of students from ISF’s Education Centre in Chbar Ampov to Phnom Pros Phnom Srey, known as Man Hill and Woman Hill respectively. Located over 100km outside of Phnom Penh in Kampong Cham Province, these two mountains tell a historical story of the relationship between legendary Cambodian men and women. Read more about that field trip here.
In March, we modernised. ISF introduced computers into our mobile libraries. These community book repositories cum learning centres are located in the areas where our students live. They exist to foster an appreciation of education and a habit of reading. Four librarians were trained on computers use. The goal is to give community members opportunities to read stories on screen and enjoy films.
Events and Recognition
ISF also hosted a number of events and engagements for its students. In September, we welcomed a presentation of Kim Dyna’s “I am a Daughter”. This performance was part of a country-wide tour of the Cambodian playwright’s play. It follows a girl’s struggles to continue her education after graduating from primary school.
In November we celebrated the many talents of ISF student in our third annual talent show, ISF’s Got Talent. This event focuses on building self confidence in performers and community building in the audience that supports them. We ended the year with our annual Children’s Party. The half-day celebration puts the spotlight on the amazing children at ISF. For an audience of hundreds of their peers, students performed traditional dances, did an unconventional Christmas dance and were recognised for their achievements. Find out more about it here.
Read about the accomplishments of our Football Programme in 2019.