Ban Lung, CAMBODIA, 31 August 2016—School directors and education authorities in Ratanak Kiri gathered today to receive 27 new microscopes for the provinces lower secondary schools.
The microscopes were donated by the Ping Y Tai Foundation and a number of private donors from the Seattle area in the USA. CARE is linking this equipment with its ongoing Know & Grow project in Ratanak Kiri, which aims to expand the life choices of ethnic minority adolescents, especially girls.
In Cambodia there has been a focus on getting girls into primary school, but there is still a gap once they reach secondary level. CARE is seeking to ensure that girls in Ratanak Kiri have a wide variety of opportunities which will encourage them to continue their education and make informed choices about their future careers.
Knowledge of STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—is one area CARE is focusing on, as this has become increasingly important for all young people entering today’s job market. However, efforts to encourage students to take an interest in these are often hindered by the theoretical nature of how these subjects are taught.
The introduction of improved scientific equipment to the classroom is part of CARE’s continued efforts to furnish students from ethnic minority groups with the knowledge and skills to compete in the modern employment market.
“Traditionally, STEM subjects such as biology have not been taught in an interesting way, with students being lectured on theory but having no opportunity to put this into practice. In reality, this can make the subject appear boring to adolescent learners,” says CARE Cambodia Program Director Jan Noorlander.
“There is often a huge mismatch between the subjects students choose to study for their futures and the needs of the country in terms of skilled workers, particularly when we look at the opportunities presented by the ASEAN Economic Community. We hope that these microscopes will inject a new dose of enthusiasm for science into these schools and that this will encourage students—particularly girls—to pursue career avenues they hadn’t previously considered,” continues Noorlander. “CARE—along with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport—aims to see an increase in the number of girls attaining higher levels of education and choosing subjects which will improve their economic prospects.”
This donation will provide two or three microscopes to 12 Lower Secondary Schools in Ratanak Kiri, including three which continue to High School level. The microscopes are being distributed to schools at an event presided over by the Provincial Office of Education. School Directors and teachers will receive a tutorial on using these effectively in the classroom.
54% of students in the schools receiving microscopes are from some of Cambodia’s estimated 24 ethnic minority groups, many of which are concentrated in the remote north-east of the country. 43% of students from the 12 schools are female.
For more information contact:
Jan Noorlander, Program Director—Ethnic Minority Women, CARE Cambodia Jan.email@example.com; +855 89 496 969
Songlim Sean, Senior Program Manager, Education for Ethnic Minorities, CARE Cambodia firstname.lastname@example.org; +855 12 794 876