Dear Supporters, Teachers, Students, Parents and Family Members,
As Cambodia and the world continue to grapple with the pandemic, we hope you’re in good spirits and health! While there’s a lot of uncertainty, we know that we need to adapt fast to our changing reality. Your continued support in these challenging times has enabled us to innovate to better serve our community.
2020 started well but due to Covid-19restrictions, the school was ordered to close on 7th March. ODC had to adapt very quickly and switched to distributing learning packages weekly andutilizing cell phones to enable students and teachers to interact. Online based learning via Facebook Messenger was also introduced. On the 9th November, ODC received permission from the government to re-open. However, on 28th November, there was again community outbreak of Covid-19, and all schools were closed. Thankfully the conditions have improved in Cambodia and we have resumed our in-person teaching in early January 2021.
ODC is one of a handful of educational NGOs that has innovated and continued to support our students and community during this pandemic. Teachers may not have been able to have their students physically in the classroom, but they remained connected and continued to teach creatively and passionately. The commitment, resilience and hard work of our teachers were outstanding and ensured that our students were able to continue learning. The “silver lining” to our new remote learning strategies meant that parents became much more involved in their children’s education and gained a better understanding of our ODC mission.
In December, ODC began its open-enrollment procedures for 2021. To our utmost surprise, 73 new students registered! The reputation of ODC as a school that delivers quality English teaching by caring and committed teachers has spread to villages further afield. The children aged between 5 and 16 were given a placement test and all parents were interviewed. ODC was able to offer places to most of the children but due to a lack of classrooms some had to be put on a waiting list. In February 2021, ODC will start its full-time curriculum pilot program for primary aged students. A group of 30 students will study English, Math, Science and Social Science, with all subjects taught in English. This program will greatly accelerate and improve the students’ proficiency in English and broaden their understanding in important learning areas. In 2021, ODC will have 121 students enrolled in both our full time and part time programs and 25 children on our waiting list. It is hoped that ODC will be able to conduct the full-time curriculum and follow through the 7-year plan for our primary school students. The part-time English classes will ultimately be for secondary school students and young adults. All of our students will be prepared for the advanced language certification testing that will open new educational and employment doors for them.
We are very confident that our students will also be empowered to play a positive role in our Cambodian society and the world. In times like this, we’re reminded of how connected we all are. Thank you for being part of our community. Without you, none of it is possible. Your impact will be long lasting and the people of Cambodia thank you most wholeheartedly.
Founder and Headmaster, ODC Organization
P.S. For those interested in even more detail, please follow this link to our 2020 Annual Report.