Providing Early Childhood Education to rural Cambodian communities
Matai (Khmer for kindergarten) CORDE or Community Kindergarten Schools give children in rural communities of Cambodia between the age of 3-6 access to Early Childhood Education (ECE) in preparation for their schooling years. The curriculum we use is the called The Concepts Towards a Positive School Environment and The Ruhi Kindergarten courses for Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Spiritual Education and Arts developed by The Ruhi Institute and FUNDAEC. It is designed to prepare children for primary school by developing their social, academic and physical skills as well as moral values through play learning.
CORDE developed its new Kindergarten Community School Program in response to Cambodia’s need for increased access to ECE in rural areas. CORDE works closely with Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in identifying what rural communities need and what need CORDE is best equipped to meet. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport advised they need the support of NGO’s to provide increased access to early childhood learning, which is evident in their Strategic Plan for 2006-2010 (p. 22).
This is in light of the high dropout rate throughout primary school, as the World Bank recorded in 2005 approximately 60% of students drop out by grade 9. In 2005 the Ministry for Education, Youth and Sport recorded a completion rate for primary school of 46.8% and 20.6% for lower secondary school. The NGO Education Partnership’s report on The Impact of Preschools on Early Childhood Education in Cambodia 2008 suggests children who receive ECE are 20% more likely to progress onto grade 2 (p.20).
It also found that children who enter schooling at an early age such as 3 or 4 minimize their repetition and dropout rates.
It highlights children who receive ECE are:
- More socially aware and in tune
- More consistent in their study habits
- Aware of key hygiene concepts
- More likely to articulate their needs effectively
- More confident in their environment
- More likely to demonstrate strong academic performance
- Minimize their repetition rate (p17)
Where are our Community Kindergarten Schools?
Four Community Kindergarten Schools have now opened in different communities across Battambang Province. Please find their details below.
CORDE Community Kindergarten School 1
Opened: 3rd of January 2011
Location: Teachers house in Sambok Ork Village, Kompongpreang Commune, Sangker District, Battambang Province
Teacher: Sou Sokunthea
Number of students to date: 20
Class time: 1:00pm to 4:00pm
CORDE Community Kindergarten School 2
Opened: 10th January 2011
Location: Teachers house in Kbalthnal Village, Kompongpreang Commune, Sangker District, Battambang Province
Teacher: Chouern Chanly
Number of students to date: 10
Class time: 2:00pm to 5:00pm
CORDE Community Kindergarten School 3
Opened: 25th of January 2011
Location: Teachers house in Reangkral Village, Reangkesey Commune, Sangker District, Battambang Province
Teacher: Hom Chanthouern
Number of students to date: 7
Class time: 12:00pm to 3:00pm
CORDE Community Kindergarten School 4
Opened: 15th February 2011
Location: Student’s house in Okhcheay Village, Wattamim Commune, Sangker District, Battambang Province.
Teacher: Ing Chanserey
Number of students to date: 8
Class time: 3:00 to 5:00pm
CORDE is monitoring the new Community Kindergarten Schools and evaluating what the students and communities find useful and effective and what can be improved. To do this evaluation the Community Education team meets once a month with the teachers and once every 2 months with the parents in communities to reflect on their student’s performance and progress. CORDE’s Community Kindergarten Schools will continue to expand into new communities across Cambodia as resources allow. We will be sure to keep you updated!