Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cambodian community preschool teacher fulfils her dream

By Kong Vanny

KAMPONG CHAM, Cambodia, 4 February 2015 - Yuth Sreymom (34) never thought she would get the chance to be a teacher. “Since I was young, I had a dream to be a primary school or lower secondary school teacher but my dream was not [going to ] come true because I studied only to grade 8 at lower secondary school at Koh Sothin district,” says, Sreymom.

Community preschool teacher, Yuth Sreymom, teaches a student how to write her numbers.
©UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Kong Vanny

Today Sreymom is the community preschool teacher in Tonsay Koung village helping 37 children (24 female) aged three to five to acquire the social, cognitive and language skills to prepare them for entry into primary school at the age of six.

Supporting Communes to establish community preschools

In rural Cambodia, only one in every four children currently benefits from early childhood education. UNICEF, with generous funding from the Japan Committee for UNICEF, is supporting communes to establish community preschools for children during these vital years in their development.
Sreymom was recruited by the commune council in 2011 and received her teacher training from the Kampong Cham Provincial Office of Education, Youth and Sport as part of the UNICEF-supported community preschool programme.  She receives a small monthly stipend of 120,000 Riel (US$30) of which the commune pays 72,000 Riel (US$18.00) and UNICEF contributes 48,000 Riel (US$12).

The opportunity for children to learn and play

Community preschool teacher, Yuth Sreymom, supervises her students during a writing exercise.
©UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Kong Vanny

Sreymom operates the preschool for two hours from 7.00 a.m. every day except Thursday and Sunday within the compound of Tonsay Koung primary school. “Besides support from the commune councilor, I also have support from the Tonsay Koung School principal who provided me one room in his primary school so I have a space for my children to learn and play. Village leaders are also supporting me to mobilize children and meet parents to raise awareness about the importance of early learning,” says Sreymom.

With teaching/learning supplies and toys and games provided with UNICEF support, Sreymom uses story-telling, song, play, art and dance to conduct lessons in health and basic hygiene, reading, writing, counting, observing, good manners and local culture.
Parents in Tonsay Koung village are happy to have a preschool in their village. Mrs. Nhouy Srey Pov is the mother of 5-year-old Chhroeun Pisey one of Sreymon’s pupils. “[Thanks to the preschool] my daughter has improved a lot in self-discipline, sanitation practice and can count up to number 30,” says, Mrs. Srey Pov.

As the preschool enters its third academic year, Sreymom is happy to have fulfilled her dream. “I love my job because I help children and my community,” she says smiling.

1 comment:

  1. Quite an inspirational and motivational story. I was equally enthusiastic when I joined a Phoenix pre-k couple of years ago but sadly I got better opportunities and I accepted those. But being with kids was a complete fun which I miss at times.