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Child Friendly Schools

In 2012, CAD began a partnership with an Australian NGO, Classroom of Hope, to implement Child Friendly Schools (CFS) in Ek Phnom District. A three year project began in 2013 to introduce the Schools for Excellence model across seven primary schools (Grades 1 to 6) and supported 1,762 children. The program was so successful that, in 2016, a second program was rolled out to meet the needs of another 1,785 children in five more schools. By the end of 2017, the five new schools had increased their enrolment to 1901 as a result of improvements in school administration and active enrolment campaigns.

Activities in this program include:

  • Creating maps of the school catchment areas; showing the location of homes of children who should be attending primary school.
  • Supporting over 400 scholarship students 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.
  • 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.

In 2013, Navitas, an Australian based university group, joined with Classroom of Hope and provided a grant to run the SFE program in the first 7 schools.  In 2016, Navitas provided more funding to run the program in another 4 schools, and a second donor, Jam and Jelly Foundation, agreed to fund 1 school.    For a summary of Child Friendly School achievements, see the CAD Annual Report

Reduction of Student Drop out Rates / School Improvements

One of the major benchmarks of Child Friendly schools is to reduce the drop out rate. Using Child Friendly Schools assessment tools, data collected in September 2017 revealed improvements in drop outs and many other areas:

Measure Before project Sept 17
Drop outs 20% 14%
Overall Child Friendly School rating (teaching, leadership, health etc). 34% 60%
Student teacher ratio 61:1 44:1
Number of teachers at schools 29 32
Number of children at schools 1785 1901
School Support Committee quality 21% 44%
Child Rights 32% 42%
Leadership 9% 33%

Below is a snapshot of work carried out by Classroom of Hope and CAD.  If you are inspired, and want to donate to the Classroom of Hope program, click here.

In 2012, the CAD Supplementary Class in Peas community was held in a community shed.

In 2013, the government opened a new primary school as a result of intensive lobbying from CAD Executive Director.

As a result of the CFS project, this government primary school now has flowers, vegetable patch, playground, clean water and toilets.

The vegetable patch is underway.

CAD staff prepare the school uniforms for scholarship students

This scholarship student is happy to be wearing her new uniform.


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