Highland children's education project: A pilot project on bilingual education in Cambodia (2005)

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This report documents the model and implementation of a bilingual primary education programme, the Highland Children’s Education Project (HCEP), provided for the Tampuen and Kreung ethnic minority groups in six remote villages in the northeastern province of Ratanakiri in Cambodia. Central to the HCEP is the idea of community schools, where the community is largely responsible for governance and day-to-day operations. Given the barriers to education that ethnic minorities in Ratanakiri face, such as language, negative attitudes associated with schooling for girls, lack of infrastructure and qualified teachers, key aspects of the HCEP model include: the national curriculum is adapted to local conditions; teachers come from the communities and are trained, time tables are adapted according to farming seasons; and the schools are run by community School Boards. All elements of the education process relate to the highland indigenous people’s culture in a broad sense. The successes of the project include: many of the students have learned to read and write in their own language; there are better behaved children; improved health/hygiene in the village; the School Boards have gained more confidence to lead the communities, and they have observed that the village has become more cohesive; female teachers have become role models for young girls; community has been empowered as a whole to better stand up for their educational and legal rights. The paper recommends that future project activities should build on the successful elements and achievements of the HCEP, such as fostering community ownership, building the capacity of the School Boards, strengthening the capacity of the project staff and local teachers, continuing adaptation of curriculum and materials, and extending collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
Language: English
Imprint: UNESCO: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001395/139595e.pdf. Accesed via Eldis: http://www.eldis.org/go/topics&id=19215&type=Document 2005
Series: Report,