Claudia McArthur from Australia (5-9 Dec. 2016)
I had the pleasure of teaching English in a local primary school in Siem Reap, thanks to the ACODO organisation. It was an amazing experience and opened my eyes to the struggles and constraints the Cambodian Education system has. During the day, I supported a Cambodian University student to teach two English classes. He does an amazing job with limited resources and large class sizes. The children love him and really enjoy learning English. It was great to see their enthusiasm each day and their desire to learn English. I had the opportunity of teaching the evening class which consisted of 45 students or more. I must admit it was difficult with so many children and limited resources however the children were keen to learn and enjoyed the new games and songs I taught them. I fell in love with the children and their friendly attitudes.
I was transported to the school each day via motor bike and upon arrival to the school gates I was greeted with “hello teacher, how are you”, high fives and plenty of hugs. The children were always positive and happy which put a smile on my face each day. The man of the hour, Veasna, is very passionate about education and particularly English classes. He works very hard to ensure the children at the school attend English classes and communicates with parents about the classes. He is a very inspiring person and the work he does for the disadvantaged children in the Siem Reap community and at the school is admirable.
I donated some money to the program to help the school get lights for the evening class and to contribute to a sound system. The school needs donations to purchase simple classroom resources, such as, colouring pencils, glue, paper, scissors, and course books. I encourage any teacher out there, who wants a break from their real life, or is holidaying in Siem Reap to get behind this organisation and help. Whether you donate money or volunteer to teach English, your time and generosity will be greatly appreciated by the organisation. I hope to return one day to Siem Reap to see the progress the children have made and maybe even teach for a longer period.