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Sue Slater’s Letter from Battambang 2014

on December 12th, 2017 at 1:50:19 AM
Sue Slater’s Letter from Battambang 2014
 
Dear Friends
 
Another fantastic year in Battambang where we, the Australian workshop leaders, leave Cambodia feeling this is one of the best experiences ever.  Working with our Cambodian colleagues and the two way sharing of the craft of teaching is what we are all passionate about. 
 
The TAB Battambang program goes from strength to strength and each year we enhance our relationship with our Cambodian colleagues who delight in showcasing the improvements and changes that they have put in place, often in the face of considerable odds.


 
The Train the Trainer program is really “the jewel in the crown” whereby we train Khmer teachers and directors to assist workshop leaders in delivering the TAB program. Khmer trainers tell us they feel empowered and highly professional in this role and workshop leaders”wax lyrical” about the support their Khmer colleagues provide in the workshop. We believe that this is pivotal in building Khmer teacher capacity.
 
This is the second year where TAB has bussed participants from Moung Roussey and Ratanak Mondul Provinces into Battambang. In some instances teachers and directors from Battambang have modelled effective “child friendly” practices and hosted school visits for their colleagues from these provinces.
 
In the last two years it has been amazing to see the effect of the uptake of new technology; mobile phones, ipads and other devices. So me workshop participants are now able to keep in touch with each other through Facebook.   They photograph and video aspects of the workshops and ideas which they can share back at school. Most importantly, we are able to continue our dialogue with our Khmer collea


gues once we are back in Australia.   This is clearly the way forward as more and more folk will be able to access technology; however it must be stated that internet access is often limited to large cities and for the great percentage of teachers who work in rural schools connectivity is not as possible.
 
We continued our important work, with four of us from TAB, presenting a three day workshop
in a school in Sampov Loun district on the Thai border. This is a very grounding experience as it highlights the incredible differences between urban and rural schools in Cambodia. It is a real reminder that a great percentage of 


Cambodian schools are classified as rural and these schools face enormous challenges. These village schools are usually located on unmade roads off the main highway. The unsecured school buildings are old, sometimes with limited water supply and teachers confront huge classes with minimal resources and attempt to address issues relating to basic year nine school completion and school attendance. It is tough.
I am always in awe of the way our Khmer colleagues take up the challenge to continually improve the Cambodian education system with so many completing additional study in their 


own time and working with a range of non government providers to develop programs which 
meet the needs of Cambodian education. The relationship which TAB Australia has built with Khmer educators and other organisations serves as a powerful platform to ensure this wonderful is embedded in practice and not just a “one off” each January.
Thank you once again for your interest and support for the work of TAB.
 
Sincerely,
Sue Slater