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Quarterly Update: September 2021

QUARTERLY UPDATE

The situation in Cambodia remains challenging and the Delta variant is on the rise. The economic fallout from the lockdowns is becoming increasingly apparent in our communities, with many of our student’s parents losing jobs and/or facing a sharp drop in income.

We continue to provide humanitarian and social work support including food distribution, medicine supply, and rental/utility assistance where needed. We anticipate that the support will carry on into the foreseeable future.

Year to date, we have provided donations/assistance totaling $12,162 to 355 Students = 256 families (1,144 people)

Online learning continues to be difficult for many of our students who lack reliable internet and access to technology through which to participate in their online classes. 

Our computer labs and school spaces are open to a very limited number of students (following Covid protocols) who live near the schools in order for them to access tablets and the internet. However, due to the limit on numbers, and the fact that some students cannot come to the EYC schools due to the increase in community spread of the virus, at-home technology access remains critical.

To address some of the connectivity challenges, we recently launched a program to provide students with internet access so they can access online classes for both EYC and their state schools. EYC provides a “top-up” phone credit, and the phone is then used either as a hotspot “modem” that students can use to connect their laptops or tablets or they can use the phone credit to study using their parents’ phones.  The “top-up” provided is $1/week per student. We are happy to report an increase in student attendance in online classes due to this program.

Attendance

At the start of 2021, we had 845 students attending in-person EYC classes.  In August, we had 532 (274 females) students participating in EYC’s online classes.  Factors impacting attendance include:

  • Community lockdowns
  • Contracting Covid-19
  • Government restrictions
  • Lack of online learning devices and access to the internet

Challenges persist; however, we have pivoted and adapted teaching methods to an e-learning reality and continue to offer a wide range of programming and support to students and their families.

Online Programming

  • English:  Online English classes, use of Literacy Planet English Language software, online “Library” access, and English Practice Partners Program
  • Computer: Online computer classes, coding classes with our partner, SabaiCode, and computer competitions
  • Leadership Development: Online trainings and workshops
  • Scholarships: 8 students attending (virtually) PSIS private schools with an additional 5 students earning acceptance to PSIS in August. A further 26 students are receiving scholarships for extra classes, high school, and university (5 students)
  • Sports: The cycling program continues
  • Art: Online art classes and art show
  • Job Placement: 3 students placed in jobs and 1 participating in an internship
  • Community Outreach: Humanitarian support and Social Work services
  • Medical: Medical clinics open at schools providing individualized health support

Additionally, our staff is tracking daily attendance to mitigate drop-out rates and following up with students on their mental health.

Planning for “Back to School”

As we await word from the government on when schools will reopen in Cambodia (hopefully in October) we are working on our 2022 plan including continuing to address the economic fallout experienced by our students’ families and focusing on “getting kids back to school” so we can help to mitigate the learning loss that has occurred with schools closed for almost 12 of the last 18 months.

  • Contact all absent students to get them back into their state schools and EYC classes
  • Review English lessons from the beginning of the school year to mitigate learning loss
  • Keep applying e-learning strategies especially with students in Foundation and Pre-Level 1 to increase their familiarity with e-learning so they will be better prepared in the event of a future lockdown.

Continue to encourage the students to implement 3Dos and 3 Don’ts of Covid safety.

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