Now that they are aware of their roles and responsibilities, members of school support committees are spearheading efforts to collect and enroll children across Mondul Kiri province.
Am Salt, a farmer and village elder, remembers the time when there was “nothing” in Pu Hoam village. “There were no roads around here. No schools either,” the 55-year-old woman, who belongs to the Phnong ethnic minority, recounts. “Today,” she observes, “there is a school near our house.”
“I want my grandchildren to get an education. With this they can get a good job, maybe become teachers.”She decided to send her 4-year-old grandson, Pang Sombath, to the local primary school, following an enrollment campaign spearheaded by the school support committee.“The school support committee has been collecting children for school through an enrollment campaign.
The committee members were going from house to house, door to door, telling parents about the importance of education and enrolling children at school,” Salt explains, visibly content.“This is why we decided to enroll our child at school,” she says, adding that “[t]here are four children in this home and we will send all of them to school.”CARE Cambodia has been supporting the Pu Hoam primary school for almost two years now.
Through core trainers from the District Office of Education, it taught members of the school support committee about their roles and responsibilities, which include collecting and enrolling children at primary schools.The school director of Pu Hoam primary school, Chaim Sopheak, is very vocal about the activity of her school support committee.
“The school support committee members learnt about their roles already at the first workshop. Now they have their designated ‘zones’ and they try and visit all the households during their field visits,” the mother of two says.It is this knowledge and subsequent activity of the dedicated committee, she says, that led to an impressive enrollment rate this school year—double that of last year.
“This year 42 children started grade one. While last year only 21 children were enrolled. I think this increase is due to the school support committee knowing their role. Because now that they know it and they know they need to collect children for school the enrollment rate is much higher.”Her sentiment is echoed by the Director of the Provincial Office of Education in Mondul Kiri province, Mr. Tim Sangvat. “The school campaign enrollment is one of the most important activities of the school support committee,” says Sangvat, who has held the office since 2003.“We have an improvement in the enrollment rates this year. We improve each year.”
These activities are part of the School Governance project, which is supported by the Capacity Development Partnership Fund.