Mr. Sroum Kanh has worked for the Koh Nhek District Office of Education in Mondul Kiri for more than 30 years. As leader of the District Training and Monitoring Team, he is responsible for ensuring local School Support Committees fulfill their roles well so primary schools are well managed and providing a good education to their students. For many years his team found this work challenging, but since they started working with CARE he has seen marked improvements.
“The District Training and Monitoring Team was established by the Ministry many years ago but they had no experience providing training to school support committees,” said Kanh. “Many of my team members were not confident they could effectively support community members to in turn support their schools.”
In Mondul Kiri province, CARE works in five districts to support 88 primary schools. The team in Kanh’s district includes 23 men and women; CARE has trained them so they understand the roles and responsibilities of School Support Committees. Team members were supported to develop the skills to effectively train people from diverse community backgrounds—including those from the Phnong ethnic minority group who make up 80% of the province’s population. CARE also provided the district teams with all the materials the needed to conduct successful training and continues to develop campaigns to support them.
“I attended five of the training sessions organised by CARE Cambodia on documents for core trainers and training of Primary School Support Committees,” recounts Kanh. “Through this training and the technical support of CARE staff my team gained much higher confidence and now have sufficient capacity to train the School Support Committees in all our district’s primary schools.
Kanh’s team are also responsible for monitoring and evaluating the performance of School Support Committees, something they were unsure about before. “I notice they now regularly visit the school to give follow up support to the committees. The team have conducted an evaluation on implementation of roles and responsibilities twice a year, using the monitoring and evaluation forms provided.
As a result, the committees are much more aware of their roles and responsibilities. We have found they have changed their practice, are more active in engaging with the schools than before and are actively monitoring teachers and students’ attendance, budgets, and school repairs.
“The great success this engagement with CARE has been that it has changed the mindset of the students’ parents and their communities in engaging in school development,” Kanh concludes. “More people now understand the importance of education for their children.”
The School Governance Project (SG) is funded by the Capacity Development Partnership Fund through UNICEF, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS).