We are excited to share the news that Cambodia has reopened schools, and, for the first time since February, EYC can once again welcome students back to in-person classes!
Of the 960 kids enrolled at EYC before COVID hit, 550 remained active when EYC had to switch to online learning. While we are pleased that so many students were able to stay engaged, we know we have a lot of work to do to mitigate the learning loss during this time.
As you read this, the EYC team is busy ensuring active EYC students are returning to state school while also tracking down those not currently engaged with EYC.
Although this has been another challenging year, there have been many bright spots over the last 12 months, including:
- Facilitating online access for students
- Providing much needed humanitarian support
- Successful implementation of new STEM programming
- Creating English Immersion programs with volunteers in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia
However, the reality remains that much learning has been lost. For our students, that learning loss exacerbates their already vulnerable situations.
Knowing that many students will have challenges returning to school due to their families’ circumstances, we have identified several interventions, including:
- Additional humanitarian support
- Childcare so students, usually girls, who have been taking care of their younger siblings can return to school
- Room and board for high potential students to help them return to Phnom Penh and into school
- Financial aid to the family for income offset so the student can stop working and return to school
- Extra tutoring and study materials
- Individualized social work support
As we close out 2021 and look ahead to 2022, our focus is squarely on getting kids back to school, catching them up on the learning that was lost and providing them with the support they need.
EYC has always offered a safe haven and support system for children growing up in difficult circumstances. That support system is needed now more than ever to ensure that the pandemic doesn’t derail their education and curtail future opportunities.