Thursday, 22 October 2015

English Teacher Ky Hao Brings Hope and Valuable Skills to Cambodian Youth

Empowering Youth in Cambodia’s (EYC) Lakeside School is one of the projects that is supported by CamKids. The School opened in 2008 and offers daily English and computer classes as well as leadership training, sports, scholarships, medical and dental treatment to marginalized young people in one of Phnom Penh’s slum communities. 
From 5:30 until 8:30pm each evening Lakeside School has over 60 students, split between three levels of English training that fill the wooden classroom which boom with laughter. Teacher Ky Hao, who has been teaching at EYC’s school since 2009, knows well the responsibility placed upon him and the importance that his students gain English language skills before entering the workforce. He is widely praised by his students as being an excellent teacher and periodic reviews put him as one of the top teachers at EYC. 
Ky Hao knows that the students have long days between work and studies, so having a fun learning environment in the evening is key to their success. Ky Hao knows first hand what the students are facing, since he starts his 3 hour teaching shift straight after his full time teaching job ends. In addition to 11 hour working days, he also is studying for his masters of education at weekends and has a young daughter. Ky Hao graduated with a BA in English Education. 
Ky Hao teaches his students both English and morality, often creating lessons based on local current events and including discussions to get students to think about life choices. He also encourages them to become involved in social work, such as community cleaning, which EYC regularly coordinates. When asked why he has stayed teaching at Lakeside School for over 6 years, he replies that this is “because of the commitment of my students, their hard-work and willingness to push themselves. I stay inspired, even though working in the community brings challenges such as gangs, drunks, drug users, domestic fights and garbage, all of which regularly interrupt class.” 
Many students that have completed his classes are now obtaining jobs that they would not have qualified for otherwise. “When my students are in class they are 90-100% active. As a result we see good results, such as a former student called Kungkea, who started with very few words of English but he progressed so that his English would now be considered as fluent and he now works as a translator” said Ky Hao. 
A male student, Vannda, 21, said, “I’ve learned English with my teacher for almost one year and I observe that he has a remarkable art in teaching. His teaching methodology is friendly and effective. When I started my English was very poor but because he always uses English in the classroom I have improved fast.” A female student, Metta, also 21, said “It was my only option to study at Lakeside School because it is free of charge and I don’t have any spare money. However, I have found that it is the best school and the quality of the teaching is very high.” 
Ky Hao said he is quite happy to share his skills and to be involved with the great efforts which EYC is making, to help students in poor communities and to give them better life opportunities. With 142 students attending classes daily, Lakeside School has been a pillar in the community and is appreciative of the great partnership with CamKids. EYC’s country manager Drew McDowell says “While everyone involved has an important role, without the support of CamKids and their generous donors the rest could not be possible. Thanks for your support.

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