S.C.A.O. School II in Som Roung village
The S.C.A.O. School II was opened in August 2011 after the SCOOP Foundation and Kinderhilfe in Kambodscha e.V. and Pacha Youth funded the construction of the building and it is accessible for all interested students. There is a change in classes and times every few months depending on the schedule rotation of the government school. In 2012 S.C.A.O. provided ten English classes at the SCOOP school in two classrooms to over 250 students. Lessons take place from Monday until Friday for every class one hour a day.
Location and description of the area and community
The S.C.A.O. School II is located in Som Roung village, Sangkat Samrong, Khan Sen Sok, Phnom Penh. The village is 18 km north of Phnom Penh City, off Highway Number 5 which gives a good connection to the city and Preak Phnow market, the closest bigger market 5km away. Som Roung village is halfway on the road between Phnom Penh city and Oudung, the former capital of Cambodia. This area does not belong to the suburbs of Phnom Penh anymore but is more of a rural area. It lies on the border between Phnom Penh province and Kandal province. The village has its own school, elementary as well as High school since 2007. Som Roung Village has roughly 550 residents. There is no registered number of households or their inhabitants yet. Most people rely on farming and own land in order to make a living.
Since a garment factory just out of Phnom Penh on Highway Number 5 opened, many women up from the age of 16 years have been employed as factory workers in order to support their families. Other common occupations in this village are small shops or food vendors. Families in Som Roung are likely to have a large amount of children. The closest computer and English courses are available at S.C.A.O., before the closest classes were offered at Preak Phnow market, 5 km away from the village. The nearest Universities are in Phnom Penh which makes it hard for some children to continue on with their studies because of transport costs. The income levels of Som Roung have improved, but still remain quite low, even though there are developments going on concerning secure housing and food resources.
Conversation ClassSet up at the end of November, S.C.A.O. provides a conversation class at the New School. After the demand of some higher level students this class was founded in order to offer students the possibility to practise their English. As it is meant to improve oral skills there is no grammar taught in conversation class. It is aimed that participants become more fluent and lose their shyness of talking in English. Further, it is the goal to increase the knowledge of vocabulary so the students are able to apply it faster outside of school. The class consists of eight participants in average and we hope to increase the participant numbers in 2013. Since whether no teachers or students are free during daytime, this class takes place Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7:15 – 8:15 p.m.
The idea behind the name ‘conversation class’ was to let students as well as available teachers interact together through discussions and exchange of information about personal interest. As there are difficulties with general knowledge and understanding tasks, an open debate is not possible yet. Instead the focus is concentrated on role plays and introducing different topics such as “The world” or “Environment”. Two teachers guide the class, give support, teach and ensure the development of the attendees. Sometimes we are lucky enough that there are enough volunteers in the New School from time to time to introduce face to face conversations between students and teachers. Over all this class is a great example how people from different cultures and backgrounds can benefit from each other.