BRIEF PROJECT DESCRIPTION
Minority Rights Organization (MIRO), with the generous support of the ViDan Foundation Inc. is implementing the “Support for school attendance of needy children in Kampong Chhnang Province” project in the period of six months from February to July 2015. The project will strive to provide education to poor interethnic: Vietnamese, Khmer and Cham children in the Kandal and Chong Koh communities of Sangkat Phsar Chhnang, Kampong Chhnang province, Cambodia. Besides the benefit for the students and their families, MIRO aims at improving interethnic relations and advocates for the human rights of Vietnamese who have been living in Cambodia for generations, but face many obstacles to obtain Cambodian nationality. As a result, they must be considered as stateless and are therefore particularly vulnerable to human rights violations.
– Goal: The goal of the project is to enable 95 needy children in the target area1 to receive an education according to the state curriculum, as well as additional private Vietnamese language classes, and have better employment opportunities.
– To provide enough knowledge and skills so that children will find jobs in the future and depend less on fishing and farming.
– To improve interethnic relations and dialogue in the villages.
– To maintain the number of children to access state school and private Vietnamese classes.
Planed project activities:
– Support children who cannot afford to attend the state school or Vietnamese language classes with funding for their meals at school.
– Purchase school supplies (text books, note-books, school uniforms, pens, pencils, rulers, etc.).
– Provide Khmer state school teachers with an additional salary to ensure their full commitment to teaching as well as cover the salary of the Vietnamese language teacher.
– Advocate with the commune chief to issue more letters of confirmation to Vietnamese children which allows for school registration.
– Advocate for local and national authorities to grant birth certificates for Vietnamese children in order to allow them to attend state schools.
– Consultation meeting with local authorities for advocacy (one-two day meeting)
– 95 students can attend the second half of the school year 2015/2016.
– School expenditures and meals of 95 students will be partly funded by the project.
– Four teachers (2 Khmer and 2 Vietnamese) are employed at the existing school, with additional honoraria to upgrade their salary or cover it fully, respectively.
– Authorities understand and consider the problem of newborn Vietnamese children in Cambodia who cannot obtain birth certificates, achieved by MIRO advocacy work.
– 100 percent of the Vietnamese children funded by the project will have letters of confirmation
which are accepted by the local authorities to register them with state school.
– In the long run, education rates will result in increased proficiency in Khmer and Vietnamese languages, greater understanding of rights, increased access to employment, greater understanding of Khmer culture, traditions and history for the Vietnamese children (necessary knowledge to apply for Khmer nationality according to Nationality Law Article 8).
– Increased communication, interaction and collaboration among Vietnamese, Khmer and Cham families.
Project activities: During the period of the report, MIRO staff conducted the following activities:
1. Teaching activity
The school building called “Phum Kandal Samaki Primary School” located in Kandal village, Sangkat Phsar Chhnang2 project is implemented. There are in total 95 students another 504 children who are not covered, with three of four classrooms occupied by the project.
Khmer class: Three classes learn Khmer5 in the morning, from 07:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Grade 1(A) 31 students6 include 15 girls (Vietnamese 20, Khmer 10, and Cham 01). Grade 1(B) 30 students7 include 16 girls (Vietnamese 18 and Khmer 12). 34 students8 are studying Grade 2 include 14 girls (Vietnamese 08, Cham 01, and Khmer 25).
Vietnamese class: Two classes learn Vietnamese in afternoon, from 01:30 PM to 05:00 PM. There are 38 students9 studying grade 1, including 14 girls and 1910 students are studying grade 2 which include 12 girls.
The class provides the Vietnamese speaking students with the Khmer language skills which will help them apply for Cambodian citizenship, if it is required by the authorities. More practically, it helps them to find jobs and communicate with people from Cambodian society in the broader context of everyday life.
Teachers: there are five teachers11 in total including 3 Khmer teachers from the Education Department, but unfortunately one teacher is not covered by the project yet, and 2 Vietnamese teachers.
Teaching methodologies: writing on the blue board with the chalk, explanations, questions and answers. The topics provided to students were reading, writing and speaking Khmer and Vietnamese, as well as mathematics. Since the students are young and the classes very crowded, teaching may be a challenge for the teachers. Vietnamese students, who have trouble following the classes, can be especially difficult.
Students: From February to April 2015, Khmer class there is 5 outstanding students of grade 1 including 4 girls. Furthermore, 5 outstanding students of grade 2 include 2 girls. They are hardworking and on time with their studies whilst respecting school regulation. Otherwise, there are 9 slow students, including 4 girls of grade 1 and grade 2. Most of them do not pay attention to studies and often absent.
2. Follow up activity with parent of student and student survey Question 7: The provincial project officer conducted a follow up with parents of students in Kandal and Chong Koh villages where the project was implemented. During three months, there were 21 families (respondents) were follow-up by using questionnaire forms Fact-finding: almost all respondents said that the school project funded by ViDan Foundation Inc. included sponsors to create a fund for children meals, study materials, uniform, and other materials was very good. They were satisfied with this project and also want to see this project be continued in the long-term for the benefit to their communities’ especially poor families and needy children who cannot access education. In particular, they also suggested enlarging the project in order for any needy children in their communities to have a chance to enroll with the school. Meanwhile there were 4 out of 17 families are satisfied with question number 713. They made an argument that their children can only get one time for a meal which was “in lunch time” if the project provided the real lunch. But there was a problem in noon time during Vietnamese class, as their children would not have any snack to eat. Therefore if the school project still keep providing funds for children meal of 1,500 Riel per school day it is possible for their children pay for buying both session of school, “Khmer class in the morning and Vietnamese class in afternoon”. For more detail please see annex 7. 12
Student survey of Question 7: What do you think if the school stopped paying the 1,500 Riel per school day and transferred this money to prepare a real lunch for your children at school? The survey was done by Mr. Kimsroy TOTH, provincial project officer before teachers, on 23rd April 2015 with 95 students at school class as result: 61 students of grade 1(A)(B) did not agree with the real lunch idea. They were satisfied with the fund for children meal of 1,500 Riel per school day. Also in grade 2, 30 students agreed with the real lunch idea and the other 4 students were satisfied with funds for children meals of 1,500 Riel per school day.
3. Other events and activities:
– 13th February 2015: Accompanied Mr. Tien, ViDan Foundation Inc. Board member and his wife to visit and distribute materials to 95 needy students and teacher at Phum Kandal Samaki primary school. He kindly distributed one gift box to one student, each gift box contained: one pen, nail scissor for boy, one can of soft drink, candy, drawing material, cake, and one set of hair ribbons for girl. The next day also accompanied him and his wife to visit and distribute something to Vietnamese students at Neak Loeung Free School. One gift box consisted of one note book, candy, cake, pen, and one can of soft drink. Please see annex 8: pictures.
– On Monday 9th March 2015, Phum Kandal Samaki primary school held a distribution ceremony14 study material and uniform to 95 children, “Khmer 47, Ethnic Vietnamese 46, and Cham 2”. This ceremony invited relevant authorities to participate such as Mr. CHEA Vuthy, representative of the Education Department in Kampong Chhnang province, Mr. KONG Savoeurn, Chief of the education office of Kampong Chhnang town, and Ms. PHUONG Chhuy Eng chief of Sangkat Phsar Chhnang. Additional relevant authorities were Mr. RIN Ratha, chief of police administration of Sangkat Phsar Chhnang, Mr. HUON Vorn, chief of Kandal village and chief of school committee, Mr. Nguyen Yang Mak and Mr. Buoy Yang Ai school committee members. Other attendees were 12 parents of the students, and as well Chin Chetha from VOA15, Mr. YEM Sokharin from Apsaranet TV. One student got one set of uniform, two textbooks “Khmer literature & mathematic”, three note books, a pen, pencil, ruler, pencil driller, one set of drawing colors, one set of writing boards, pencil eraser, and one plastic bag. 16 The distribution ceremony was broadcasted with VOA, TV3, TV5, and ApsaraTV.
The representative from the Education Department and Sangkat chief were also delivered a speech in the ceremony to the students and their parents to study hard, support the field of education and to send children to school not keep their children to help working at home. They were especially grateful to, and thanked, ViDan Foundation Inc. for kindly supporting needy children through make cooperation with Minority Rights Organization (MIRO).
– From 3rd-7th April 2015, Foundation Inc. to visit Kampong Chhnang, Prey Veng, and Pursat provinces. The aims of the visits were to reevaluate interviews with parents of students, visit schools and needy families, and visit and take pictures around the floating communities.
On Friday 3rd April 2015 to Kampong Chhnang province: visited Phum Kandal Samaki Primary School and discussed with teachers/students, distributed student’s bags, and visited around Kandal and Chong Koh floating communities. In addition, revaluated interviews with couple parents of students, dinner meeting with local authorities, teachers, and project staff, and also took documentary pictures.
On Saturday 4th April 2015 to Pursat Province: Visited around floating communities of Koh Ka Ak, Long Hai pagoda in Koh Keo, Kampong Luong, and also took documentary pictures.
On Tuesday 7th April 2015 Prey Veng: Visited Neak Loeung Free School18 and Phume Doemkor friendship primary school at Doemkor village, Kampong Soeng, Pras Sdach district. ViDan Foundation Inc. also distributed student’s bags, discussed with teachers, student and allowed students written their name on the shirt as souvenir, and also took documentary pictures. 17 MIRO accompanied Mr. CongBang Nguyen, Executive Director of ViDan. Ready more