About my Cambodian project.
I am hoping to raise at least $6635. See my budget.
You may be aware that Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world. After about 30 years of genocide and political instability that wiped out 90% of the schools and 75% of the educated population, Cambodia is starting from zero. There are glimmers of hope everywhere. It makes a profound impact on a person when you realize that there is something very REAL that you can do to help. Here is my story...
I found Wat Bo Primary School in Siem Reap, Cambodia through an international business practicum I took in 2007 that connected me with some teachers at the poor, yet resource-fortunate school. Unlike most of the rural schools we visited, Wat Bo Primary School had access to electricity, telephone, and it had some computers. The teachers just had no idea how to use technology productively, and the principal was the only one who had Internet access. So it became my mission to return, and that I did this summer. In June 2008 I went back, and introduced them to the Internet.
The Internet is changing their lives, but there were many topics we did not cover in my time with them in June. Additionally, now that they have had time to acquaint themselves with the technology and practice their English online, they will be able to retain more if I return. (Imagine how much you would retain if learning an alien subject—in another language you barely understand!)
I am working on a paper, titled "Using Information Communication Technology to Improve the Quality of Primary School Education in Cambodia: How the Internet can Help Cambodia Train its Teachers, Improve Grade Promotion Rates, and Produce Better Cohorts." It sounds complicated, but the concept is simple: it is a look at how ICT, specifically the Internet, can help Cambodian teachers to improve themselves and therefore make them better teachers, producing better students. And that, my friends, is a one-sentence summary of a 35-page paper!
When I return, I will once again take my Interactive English Language Lab software I built. We did not get a chance to use it in June, but this time we will. The tool provides them with high-fidelity pronunciation assistance of hundreds of words that they can pass on to their students, or even share with them, letting the students use the computer to learn on their own.
I will also touch base with many new people I have met and places I discovered over the Internet. I will see if they can help my research, or if I theirs. For one, I will visit Savong’s School, the Center for Khmer Studies, and perhaps even the Open Institute in Phnom Penh.
I need to raise at least $6635 to go back. It sounds like a lot, but if 266 people donated $25 each, that is all it would take. Why don’t you be one of the 266 people who help me go back?
(c) 2005 Tom Feist, all rights reserved.