Phiet lives in Team Leu, a village in the remote northeastern province of Ratanak Kiri in Cambodia. Nine years ago her village was quiet and didn’t have a school. With no opportunity to go to school, most children helped their parents on the farm and didn’t learn to read or write.
In 2002 CARE Cambodia implemented the Highland Community Education Program. This project established six community schools and employed thirteen community teachers in remote areas, including Phiet’s village.
For the first time, highlander children were able to learn in their own language, as well as learn Khmer.
“I am so happy there is a school in my village and the children have easy access to a school. They now know Khmer and know how to read and write,” Phiet said. “I have many friends at the school. I was especially surprised when I started to learn to read and write in my own language.
”Now Phiet is in Grade 9 at Virakchey Lower Secondary School, which she found very different toher primary school. “In the secondary school there are good school buildings, one classroom taught by many teachers, different subjects and lots of students of different ethnicities.”
As a part of a CARE scholarship,on 10th March 2011 Phiet andthirty-two other Grade 9 students went on a study tour to the TeacherTraining College in Stung Treng.
During the visit Phiet and her classmates met students and teacher trainers. They learned aboutwhat they study at the TeacherTraining College and what it is like to live there. “They are so likely to have a professional job in the future”, Phiet observed. “I will try to study hard because I want to study at the Teacher Training College as well. I would like to have more friends from many provinces. If I have a chance to be a primary school teacher, I would like to teach students in my own village.”