Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Students step in as teachers

Students step in as teachers

Students step in as teachers

Travelling down a trash-laden and potholed road, visitors invest at least four hours to reach Marich village, the so-called “Hidden Village”, from Preah Vihear town.

It’s the name given to the community by staff of Save the Children Norway. At Marich, the NGO teaches writing and reading, while also training homegrown teachers. Outstanding students of the third grade teach their juniors. And besides the 77 students it attends to, the programme instructs villagers in subsistence farming and herding techniques.

Helping each other
“I want to continue my studies and help villagers who are illiterate at the same time,” said Tin Dany, one of the two teachers in the village.
Becoming a teacher in a remote, rural area with little or no formal education was a daunting challenge for the 19 year old.

“I learned how to read and write from my father, who was able to read a few words,” Tin Dany said.

“I was also taught by one of my fellow villagers – the only one in the village who could read and write.”

Off the beaten path
Marich is in deep forest 100 kilometres from Preah Vihear town. The Hidden Village has been isolated from the outside world for decades – villagers’ only livelihoods are growing rice and collecting gum mastic from trees in the deep woods. Now the 250 villagers have their own school where their children have access to education.

However, the school is only able to accommodate students up to the third grade, and it is too far off the beaten path to allow teachers to commute from a larger town.

Coaching at home
Now Tin Dany is fortunate enough to receive coaching from Save the Children Norway’s teachers.

The NGO’s instructors come to the village twice a month and stay for at least three days on each visit to train the village’s two teachers, offering them lessons in subjects such as reading, writing and educational techniques.

Until recently, Save the Children Norway invited the Marich teachers to Preah Vihear town for training, but because it is difficult for them to travel there, the organisation decided to send teachers to provide on-site training.

The village has changed and improved quickly.

Villagers are more exposed to neighbouring communities, which has increased access to information, and most students are now able to read and write. Parents now push their children to go to school.

MOST VIEWED

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Vietnamese workers in Koh Kong questioned

    The General Department of Immigration (GDI) is questioning 49 Vietnamese nationals who were working illegally in Koh Kong province to build a case and send them back to Vietnam, its Department of Investigation and Procedure director Kem Sarin said on Thursday. GDI forces and provincial authorities

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Eighty replacement peacekeepers set for Mali mission despite Covid

    Eighty Cambodian blue helmet soldiers who completed the peacekeeping mission under the UN umbrella in Mali will return to Cambodia on Friday, said the Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida. “To protect their families and communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 80 are required to