SCC-CBE school tries hard to ensure children are given all the support and encouragement they need to step back into state schools and have a better future after the Covid-19 outbreak in Cambodia. Schools in Cambodia were closed for 250 days between 2020 and 2021. The biggest risk of all is that if children don’t return to school soon, they may never return. The children receiving our support were concerned that the longer remain out of school, the less likely they were to go back. They may feel that they have fallen too far behind to ever catch up, or their families may have become too reliant on the extra income children provide through working for improving their living. Through efforts in any way of keeping provide refresher courses/extra learning classes during and after the Covid-19 pandemic as well as providing food support for the children’s families, 77 out of 94 children are seen to pursue their education with the public schools in reopening schools during the low covid-19 infection rate.
Under continuation support of SCC, these 77 orphans and vulnerable children were re-enrolled in the state schools after reopening schools as soon as the announcement of the Ministry of Education. This is a great achievement that SCC-CBE Community School has implemented its activities with the best efforts to prevent these children from dropping out of school during and after the covid-19 outbreak in Cambodia. First, direct and indirect learning and teaching. Direct and indirect learning and teaching mean that the teachers of CBE School went directly to the community to teach the children in their own homes, helped to organize the daily study schedule, and study hours, and set them homework to practice in collaboration with their parents and caregivers (Group 1). Group the children, who live near the school, requiring them to come directly to the school to take homework and practice at their respective homes, then submit it to the teachers and received a further explanation from their teachers (Group 2). Group the children who can learn via online learning and teaching (Zoom learning). This way is only for children with smartphones (Group 3). Second, CBE teachers went to teach children and their families about health related to reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection. They have to adhere to the principles set by the Ministry of Health of Cambodia for COVID-19 transmission. These alternative approaches and activities of the school were remedial teaching and learning during public school closure to keep our vulnerable children from returning to school without a negative impact on our children’s education.
In addition, Food was in the highest demand for survival, especially during the outbreak of COVID-19 when all business activities were required to be closed. Most vulnerable children’s families have badly been facing this issue because those vulnerable children's families work as baggers, selling food on the street, construction workers, laundry service providers, cleaners, moto-taxi drivers, and other low-paid workers which they normally were able to save the small amount of money so that they could not supply their families' food for a longer time. SCC contributed to addressing this by mobilizing resources from other supporters to provide nutrition support to 56 most in-needed families each family received 1 bag of 40 kg rice, 6 bottles of soy sauce, 4 soap, 1 box of face masks, 1 bottle of alcohol, and 1 spray bottle. Separately, 77 vulnerable students were provided school material such as 1 uniform, 1 pair of shoes, 1 bag, 2 written books, 1 white boat, 1 marker, 1 set of pens, a pencil, an eraser, a correction pen, and 12 colored pencils. The handover events were conducted for 2-times following the instruction of the Ministry of Health to avoid COVID-19 at CBE-School in the Bangkok Slum area. The events were participated in and congratulated by local authorities. In short, the food provided was a vital contribution to the vulnerable children returning to school since their parents have not become too reliant on the extra income children provide through working.
However, in the amount of 17 vulnerable children dropped out of CBE School and the public school because of their families’ severe reasons. First, their family moved out to their parent’s homeland to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Second, because of poor living conditions, their family members were forced to migrate to work in Thailand. Thirst, the family did not have enough money the living so they need to sell labor for a living. Fourth, the family member fell ill and the parents decided to stop their education to earn income to take of their family. Fifth, Parents/caregivers changed residents and migrated locally for other work with their children.
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