Last semester, Daninh, a fourth grade student at CFI, was the joker in his class, frequently misbehaving, talking with other students, and disrupting the lesson. He was beloved by his classmates, but, unfortunately, he wasn’t improving in school. His teachers tried to discipline Daninh, but to no avail.

With little success through traditional disciplinary measures, the school staff came together to try and understand the causes of Daninh’s behavior. The teachers discovered that Daninh did not see the value in education, an unfortunate misconception in rural Cambodia, where school is often seen as a luxury for the rich. By helping him understand the connection between staying in school and becoming a successful adult, Daninh’s teachers were able to improve his motivation to study.

The school manager, Samith, helped Daninh connect his behaviors to his goals. He encouraged Daninh to complete his homework every day, ask questions when he didn’t understand something, and get the most out of every class period, as this would help Daninh succeed in life.

Thanks to these interventions, Daninh improved his study habits. Now, he’s excelling in school. According to Samith, “Daninh is enjoying studying at all of his classes and has become one of the top students in almost all classes he has attended. He’s trying hard to study. When there is question from teacher in his class, he always raises his hand to get a chance to answer the question. He is now very active with his studying. I and his teachers are very proud of him. He is one of the role model for his classmates, friends, and other students in his community.”

He is still the same joker he was, but he’s much better behaved in class and excelling in his studies. Way to go Daninh!