Our Literacy Classes
As part of the holistic approach envisioned by Water for Cambodia, basic education of the village women was considered a cornerstone for success. Our classes are offered mainly to village women who never had the opportunity to learn to read, write or do simple math. Each class has 25 students and runs for ten months. They are held in the village usually at night and include education in health, hygiene and sanitation.
The literacy program began with two classes of 25 students in 2006 as a pilot. Today we are approaching 3,000 student graduates. Our team selected and helped provide the teachers with improved skills and familiarity with our enhanced curriculum. This program is fully sanctioned by the Ministry of Education giving graduates formal certification.
Literacy classes are held in local villages, in the home of a village leader or student, community meeting building, an empty school room, or where ever suitable space can be found. Our graduation rate is over 90% and some of the students have continued their education by pursuing vocational training opportunities.
At the request of a group of newly literate village women, we began to develop small village libraries. These are located in villages with biosand filters and where literacy classes have been conducted. They are stocked with a variety of books in Khmer and English on subjects ranging from agriculture and poetry to wildlife and children's stories. As part of the library collection, we provide subscriptions to a selection of Khmer language newspapers and magazines. A village resident, often the local teacher, maintains a log and oversees each library.
The library program has introduced the experience of reading for pleasure and reading as a family. Currently we have 10 libraries installed. Often the local school will work with our libraries to exchange books so each has access to a larger collection.