Improving school environment to support children’s learning
As the clock strikes 12:00, Mr. Khin Vu has not had his lunch yet. He has to finish decorating a children’s school playground so that children can have an improved playtime space and be more engaged and excited about learning.
“I am passionate about community work where I want to improve the three school environments to help increase the learning outcomes of children in my community,” Khin Vu explained.
Khin Vu, 38 years old, is a Village Chief from Anlong Reab commune – a remote commune of Pursat province near the Thai-Cambodian border. He recalled that the parents in his community were previously not interested in children’s education due to their limited knowledge in learning from home.
Mr. Vu contributed his own resource to mobilize the parents to be involved in their children’s education. While riding along the muddy road in the raining season, he would always get dirty. However, that was not his challenge. He always invited parents to join in meeting at school, but it did not work because of their limited knowledge.
In 2018, Save the Children began implementing the Remote Early Learning (R.E. Learning) project in Mr. Vu’s community. The project aims to improve the quality of children’s learning at targeted preschools and to improve preschool governance. The project has worked closely with Mr. Vu and other target schools in Anlong Reab to improve school infrastructure and facilities, and has helped train the teachers, principal, parents and other community members on topics such as school management, planning, and teaching.
Because of his leadership experience, parents and teachers elected Mr. Vu to be the School Management Committee leader. He was happy to take on the work, and he thought it would be a good opportunity to make improvements at the schools, and mobilize parents and authorities to participate in children’s learning. With support from the project, he coordinates and organizes meetings, particularly with the parents of primary school students. He also seeks community input on the development and improvement of the schools.
Mr. Vu is thrilled to see the parents and other authorities in his community join school activities and contribute their own resources to improve school environments so children feel motivated to learn. While collecting old recycle material like tired as new for the school playgrounds, children come and enjoy playing in the new environment space. The school has changed a lot through the hard work of Mr. Vu and the support from community leaders and parents.
“Most of the parents are now very interested and care about their children’s learning after they learned more and saw these school playground improvements,” explained Mr. Vu.
Children are now happily motivated to go to school after the new and improved clean playground area. They regularly attend school, where their learning has progressed with increased support from their teachers and parents.
“I hope that children in this community have bright futures and can get a good job to help their families and especially to help develop the community,” said Mr. Vu. “I want these children to take care of this school and the community even after I am gone.”