Lack of access to schools hinders children’s ability to get a quality education. And infrastructure, or lack thereof, can play a big part in determining whether children are able to attend school. In 2 areas located in Koh Kong and Oddar Meanchey provinces, ActionAid Cambodia (AAC) is working with local partners to identify areas where dropout rates were especially high and where inadequate educational facilities and poor infrastructure in rural schools acts as a barrier to children enjoying their right to quality public education.
In Koh Kong, AAC is working with Mlup Promviheathor Center (MPC) and has constructed a new school building and adequate toilet facilities in a community with a traditionally high dropout rate. In Oddar Meanchey province, AAC is working with Community Translation Organization (CTO) to construct a school library. The project is also implementing the promoting rights in school (PRS) awareness to both children and parents, focusing on their 10 essential rights around education (1. Right to free and compulsory education; 2. Right to non-discrimination; 3. Right to adequate infrastructure; 4. Right to quality trained teachers; 5. Right to a safe and non-violent environment; 6. Right to relevant education; 7. Right to know your rights; 8. Right to participate; 9. Right to transparent and accountable schools; 10. Right to quality learning). 113 parents (85 of whom were women) received training on these rights in Oddar Meanchey and a similar session is planned to take place in Koh Kong.
Another component of the project is the AAC and partners’ support to school gardening programs. These organic vegetable gardens promote a better understanding of healthy livelihoods and also teach the schoolchildren a practical skill in growing their own vegetables. The schools have decided that this initiative was so successful that they will incorporate it into their teaching curriculums in the future.
These school infrastructure and lifeskills building projects would not be possible without the support of Guy’s Trust, and AAC and its partners are thankful for their financial contribution as they continue to build on the these successes.