In the last three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything in Cambodia has changed. There is no big celebration, the busy street market becomes quiet, people travel less, only when they have to. Some shops were shut down and people lost their jobs. The schools were closed and students spent most of their time at home.
COVID-19 has changed what we are doing at CFI, especially within the Education program. The CFI school was closed in line with the Government directive, students can’t come to CFI at the moment and they need to learn remotely from home. Our teachers are working hard to keep the students educated by making phone calls to all students every week.
On the phone call, teachers review the old lessons and provide new educational tasks. They explain how to do the task so the students can study by themselves and if they have questions later they can call and ask the teacher at any time. Teachers also check in about the students’ health, safety, and any concerns they have during the quarantine.
FThe teachers often remind students of the steps they can take to protect themselves from COVID-19, like washing your hands frequently, eating well-cooked food, keeping a safe distance of two meters away from others, and staying home if you have any signs of the illness. They also discuss avoiding crowded places, wearing a face mask in public, covering their mouth with a tissue or their elbow when they sneeze and if they get sick, going to the health center to get help.
Alongside this, our Education Advocacy team also works hard to follow up with the public school students who now study at home. They use the same method as the Education team by calling to follow up with students every week or visit if needed.
The main focus of the Education advocate team is the grade 9 and 12 students who will have examinations this year. The Education advocate team always follows up with the students to support their learning, and address their concerns and worries about the examination.
The students now have to learn via online teaching from public teachers and share resources in the Facebook messenger group with their classmates. This can be challenging for students who can’t access the internet or they don’t have any technical devices like the smartphone or tablet to use at home.
The team keeps updating the students about information from the Government and provides support in any way they can to ensure the students feel ready and confident while they tackle this new style of learning.
One of the amazing grade students told us “ We really appreciate CFI’s support during this time and we want to say thank you to the team that cares about our health and study. We now feel more confident about our study and we are ready for examinations in the next few months.”
All of these results show us how flexible and effective staff in the Education program are at keeping children engaged and motivated in any situation. Well done team!