“I started working in Cambodia in 2014 and after obtaining my masters in International Education and Development, I started working for CFC in 2018. I help to establish strategic direction and execution of key CFC initiatives, and work with CFC's deputies to strengthen current systems and train staff.
All schools in Cambodia have been closed since the beginning of March which has made it challenging for continuing student learning, as well as, providing the additional support to the students in CFC communities. This resulted in everyone having to stay at home. It has been a challenging time, especially being so far away from home. However, our work continued to ensure continued support for our students and communities. Even with the CFC team working from home we are still closely connected to seek out priority needs and how we can best support everyone during this time.
A CFC Team call while during school closures
We have had to change our whole approach to education during this pandemic, but our team are leading the way and embracing the challenge through their remarkable transition to remote learning. We set out to work immediately to develop a remote learning strategy for more than 6,800 students who rely on CFC schools for their education. Before long, teachers were connecting via videoconferencing programs and formulating a plan to create and distribute grade-appropriate learning packets throughout the villages. In addition to learning, access to clean water was a top priority. We continued to ensure our water filters were maintained with various safety measures in place to ensure the communities could still access safe, clean drinking water. Another priority has been to continue our Food for Thought Program ensuring that our students receive two meals a day in the community. FFT ranks as CFC's most crucial program, according to our students, parents and communities.
Some of the biggest challenges we have faced during this time have been how to ensure that every student can continue to learn and how we can best support parents as they are now faced with supporting their children's learning at home.
My biggest fear is the impact this will have long-term on the education system for the teachers and students, especially the school dropout rate. That is why it is so important for us to work with all stakeholders to find the best solution to support remote learning. Additionally, the repercussions for the livelihoods of our communities as most rely on tourism in SR which has been negatively affected.
Despite this challenging time, we need to come together now more than ever, to support each other and offer assistance to ensure continued best practices in education as a way to support the future generations and provide different skill sets to allow students to adapt to the changing environment.”