Lakana*, is 12 year-old and she is the third daughter living in a Khmer farmer family. Thanks to a scholarship provided by CARE she is now studying in Grade 8 at a lower secondary school in Mondul Kiri province. Her school is in a remote area, which is about 1.5 km from her home.
The COVID-19 pandemic is keeping Lakana and many children at home and out of school since the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport decided to close all schools nationwide in mid-March 2020.
Lakana heard about COVID-19 outbreak from her teachers and via other social media such as
radio, Facebook and television. Her teacher has also advised her on how to protect herself and her family from the virus. Lakana is well aware that you can be infected by the COVID-19 through small droplets of saliva when a person sneezes. “During this challenging time, I started to learn and improve my hygiene practice by washing hands often and wearing a mask” says Lakana.
“While schools are still closed, I have more free time at home, so I help my parents to do household chores like cleaning the house and washing the dishes. Besides that, I also read books and when I don’t understand some lessons I check with my friend nearby.”
“I am worried about my studies and the time it takes the school to re-open, and most of the students do not learn enough during study at home. I also worry that my friends and myself will drop out of school when of the school will open again.”
“It is challenging for me as a student during the school closure, because I could not attend school and lose the opportunity to learn more. I can learn at home, but I do not feel that my knowledge is increasing and that makes me unhappy and bored with my studies. Like me and many other students who are living in remote areas, we find it hard to access education without a teacher, a radio or internet access to continue our learning. We are thinking of the day when we can go back to school to learn and to play with our peers again.”
During this challenging time, CARE is worked closely with UNICEF Cambodia to support the Ministry of Education and the Provincial Offices of Education to ensure ethnic minority children can continue their schooling during the COVID-19 through its multilingual education program on radio.
*Name has been changed in accordance with CARE's child protection policy.