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SeeBeyondBorders

LocationCambodia

Issue AreaEducation

Amount NeededGeneral Support Needed

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Improve Cambodian Education

SeeBeyondBorders is a not-for-profit organisation that has been working to improve the Cambodian education system since 2009. Cambodia is a country where there are a multitude of societal problems and many are faced with extreme poverty. During the all too recent Khmer Rouge regime, 1.7 million Cambodians died as a result of enforced labour, malnutrition and mass executions.  90% of teachers were lost during this period and the education system was destroyed. The effects of this devastating loss are still being felt today, with a population of inadequately trained teachers, and children who are not learning in school. Education is key to transforming people’s lives, but the Cambodian education system provides few prospects for Cambodian children’s futures. As a result, only half of Cambodian children stay in education long enough to reach secondary school level.

SeeBeyondBorders’ vision is to see a generation of Cambodian children empowered by education. It works with existing Cambodian teachers to improve their pedagogical knowledge and skills, and it is the only organisation in Cambodia that supports teachers to train their peers. Its approach involves training mentors, who then provide ongoing mentoring to their teaching colleagues, ensuring the long-term sustainable development of teaching skills. SeeBeyondBorders also works in conjunction with local communities and government officials in order to ensure the sustainability of their programs. Sustainability ensures that Cambodian children will be empowered with an education that will open up futures full of choices and possibilities.

Quality Teaching

The Quality Teaching Program centres around the most vital part of improving an education system: the teachers. Typically, the Cambodian classroom focusses on rote learning, with children being taught to memorise and recite, rather than to think critically and truly understand the concepts they are presented with.

SeeBeyondBorders runs workshops to upskill teachers on their knowledge of content, and to teach them a wider variety of pedagogical methodologies that they can apply to their teaching. These workshops are followed up with regular mentoring sessions to provide support for teachers, and to ensure that they apply what they have learned to their day-to-day teaching. The program has proven to be extremely effective, developing confident and competent communities of teachers committed to quality teaching and ongoing professional development. Student learning outcomes have also improved dramatically, with a 40% increase in pass rates.

Better Schools

The Better Schools Program stimulates sustained community engagement in the long term physical and educational development of Cambodian schools. SeeBeyondBorders works with communities to help them recognise the importance of education, and engage with the development of their local schools. Communities come together to address issues and problems their schools are facing, and work towards rectifying these problems, and improving school facilities and learning environments.

Getting to School

The Getting to School Program increases participation and attendance in an educational environment that is fun, healthy and accessible to the whole community. Children of low income families are at the highest risk of dropping out of school early. SeeBeyondBorders provides these families with a small conditional cash payments as incentive to keep their children in school. These cash payments are to be spent on materials like schools supplies or clothing for the children. Parents are also informed on the importance of engaging with their children about their education, and encouraging them to attend school, do their homework, and keep up with their learning.

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