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Child Friendly Schools

In 2012, CAD began a partnership with an Australian NGO, Classroom of Hope,, and Navitas Australia to implement Child Friendly Schools (CFS) in Ek Phnom District. Between 2013 and 2019 the Schools for Excellence model was rolled out across twelve primary schools (Grades 1 to 6). For details about the SfE program, see below.

Our donors then turned their attention to building new government schools, supporting scholarship students and providing bicycles. Working closely with local authorities between 2016 and 2022, CAD has:
• Constructed 4 new classrooms at Ek Phnom school (2016).
• Constructed 4 new classrooms at Andoung Trach school (2019).
• Constructed 4 new classrooms at Toul Lveang school (2020).
• Constructed 2 new classrooms at Preak Drob school (2021).
• Constructed 4 new classrooms at Bou Khna school (2022) – 3 classrooms paid for by donor
and 1 classroom by community.
• Provided 90 scholarships to students each year.
• Provided a total of 60 bicycles to poor children who live a long way from school.

In all cases, the schools were required to contribute to the cost of the project and fundraise to pay for landfill, fencing and the opening ceremony. Bou Khna school was particularly successful and the community raised more than US$8500 to build an extra classroom and a playground and more fundraising is planned.

In addition to building new schools, CAD staff also provided School Improvement Plan training to School Directors and key teachers which included developing school strategic plans and teaching school staff how to collect data and complete reports and teaching methodology. Budget training is important because it maximizes contributions from Provincial Office of Education and ensures funds are used effectively and with complete transparency.

Andoung Trach – the old school was made of wood and leaked so much in the in the rainy season that they could not hold classes. Now they have an amazing new school!
Toul Lvieng schoolAt Toul Lvieng school, the kids were studying in a room made of tarpaulin and bamboo. Toul Lvieng 2Now they have two cool, dry classroom to study in.
Bou KhnaBou Khna was considered a model school except their old wooden school building was collapsing and just two of the four classrooms were available for use. To make things worse, the old classrooms lay below the flood plain and could not be used between July and the end of October. Flood levelsEvery year, the staff and children cleaned out the flood water, put the tables and chairs back and resumed classes in November. This boy (photo above) is pointing to the flood level – this is how high the water comes in rainy season.

What happens when you build a new school? In 2020, there were 395 students enrolled at the Bou Khna. At the start of 2023 this had risen to 490 students!

Activities in the Child Friendly Schools program include:

  • Creating maps of the school catchment areas; showing the location of homes of children who should be attending primary school.
  • Supporting over 1260 scholarship students (210/year)with materials, remedial and life skills classes. This also includes visits at school and home.
  • Recruiting and training Community Teachers to work in schools where there are teacher shortages.
  • Establishing Child-To-Child networks; where older children are encouraged to mentor younger students.
  • Form the student council and make them active
  • Carrying out infrastructure improvements; including providing clean water and sanitation, classroom enhancement, bio-gardens and playgrounds.
  • Provided school grant to schools
  • Built capacity training to SDs, SMSs, SSCs, CCs, and teachers ( School base on Management-(SBM), CfS learning & teaching Methods, Roles & responsibility, SIP building, fund raising)
  • Strengthening DTMT on effectiveness of monitoring and M&E planning
  • Recruiting and training community members to join School Support committees and mentoring SSCs to work with School Directors to improve conditions.
  • Working with District Office of Education staff to conduct monitoring visits to schools.
  • Working with Provincial Office of Education staff to facilitate workshop and or training.
  • One of the most tangible measures was the reduction in student drop out rates:

Measure Before project Sept 19
Drop outs 20% 3%
Overall Child Friendly School rating (teaching, leadership, health etc). 34% 84%
Student teacher ratio 61:1 37:1
Number of children at schools 1785 2321

For more examples of Child Friendly School results, see our Programs and Success Stories or Classroom of Hope