|Title||Another value of the ASEF Classroom Network|
Ms Karen Marie Hougård/Principal and international coordinator for the 21 schools in Sønderborg, Denmark
In the middle of February a small delegation of 8 people from the organization “Education and Culture without borders” went on a study tour to Cambodia with the purpose of visiting care projects and schools.
Through the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) I got in contact with a former ASEF Classroom Network Conference participant from Cambodia, Mr. Sok Tha – and he made a splendid school-program for us. Thanks to him we visited school directors in both Phnom Penh and Siam Reap. Besides that, we visited both a primary school and secondary school in both cities. The work done on those schools bears witness about hard work and dedication to educating the next generation. The schools started from scratch in 1998, where most of the schools were destroyed and 80% of the teachers were liquidated during the years of Pol Pot.
We met schools with happy and interested pupils knowing that education is the way out of poverty. Even with 50-60 pupils in every classroom, the motivation and working discipline were high.
Now we are back in Denmark again, and together with Mr. Sok Tha we will find a way to cooperate even with the lack of computers and internet access which are the working conditions of Cambodian schools.
Besides the school program we also visited “House of Care” bringing 8 laptops from Denmark. In this house young people are offered IT-studies, English studies and a possibility to work with needlecraft – again with the hope to keep these young people out of poverty, crime and prostitution.
We came back to Denmark with the most wonderful experiences after having met this beautiful country with its smiling and friendly population. I am really looking forward to the future cooperation between schools in Cambodia and Denmark, thanks to the ASEF Classroom Network and Mr. Sok Tha.
Many greatings to all my ASEF friends.