Last week, Children’s Future welcomed 33 new students into our program. This new group consists of children who have just finished first grade. When Children’s Future performed the entry assessments, we found that only half of these students actually possess the knowledge and skills required to begin second-grade.
While Cambodia has seen a big push, in recent years, towards enrolling all children in primary school and improving the quality of public primary education, those efforts have not been evenly distributed. Due to abnormally high student to teacher ratios, sometimes as high as 50 to one, and comprehensive problems involving corporal punishment, public humiliation, and unofficial “fees” paid to teachers, schools in rural, low-income areas, like the outskirts of Battambang, produce poor educational outcomes.
Fortunately, for our 33 new students, these problems will be less pronounced. Children’s Future addresses the deficit in public education by providing high-quality, comprehensive after-school curriculum in core subjects like Khmer, Math, and English.
Due to spatial limitations, Children’s Future was only able to include the 16 of these students in our after school classes. However, as active promoters of a child-centered approach, our staff do everything they can to make education accessible to as many children as possible. The school will organize tutoring classes led in the library by former beneficiaries and current University students/Interns for students who have not yet reached the first-grade level, to ensure that each child has access to Children’s Future’s learning environment, group learning and improving their Khmer and Math skills.