The Khmer language classes at Human and Hope Association began in 2014 when the staff noticed some children in their community were not enrolled in public school even though they were of age. These students were aged between seven and thirteen, and studied Khmer for one hour a day in addition to English. Their development was remarkable, with their behaviour improving dramatically and their knowledge skyrocketing. These students learnt the Khmer alphabet, which consists of 33 consonants, 23 dependent vowels, and 13 independent vowels. They made the transition to public school successfully, and have been moving up in their classes.
Following on this success, Human and Hope Association opened the Khmer language program to their students who were already enrolled in public school. They chose these students to join our class because despite studying in grades 2, 3 and 4 at public school, they were illiterate. Public schools in Cambodia tend to have up to sixty students in each class, leaving little ability for teachers to spend time on the students who need extra help. Human and Hope Association now hold Khmer language classes in the morning and afternoon, and all students are able to progress at public school due to these classes.
Furthermore, their Director holds teaching workshops for the teachers at public school in an effort to improve the teaching methods and make our Khmer language program redundant in the future.
*Chorn had never attended school before coming to study at Human and Hope Association, despite being 13 years old. We put him into Khmer classes and within a few months he could read and write in is native language.
We then enrolled him in public school and that year he came first out of 60 students! He was able to skip a grade as a result. Chorn continues to attend HHA in our English program and is coming top of his class.