From Monday to Friday, the new school in XiengNgeun programme area is filled with happy children who are eager to learn.
The new primary school hosts 57 students from grade 1 to grade 5, taught by 5 teachers.
A few years ago, teachers in the school followed an age-old teaching style of writing lessons on the blackboard and asking children to copy and memorize them. There were no learning activities, children were not encouraged to ask questions and in consequence did not participate.
“I am happy now when I study because we do activities and I have many friends in school,” says 10-year-old R-Lack, a schoolboy in grade 5.
“The students haven’t always enjoyed studying. They used to not understand the importance of education. The school didn’t have enough teachers, and the ones present didn’t have the necessary skills to teach. Lastly, there was a lack of learning tools and sport equipment,” says teacher Bounphanh Vilaychit, 35-years-old.
“Some parents weren’t fully supportive of their children going to school because they wanted help on the farm. They did not see the value of education, especially for girls,” she adds.
In 2013, World Vision Xieng Ngeun programme area implemented an education program to help teachers and students find a way to improve teaching and learning. It focused on learner-centered teaching techniques that are now being implemented in 10 schools from the area.
World Vision also raised awareness among students and parents on the importance of education. The awareness raising initiatives have led many communities to prioritize children’s education.
Footballs, uniforms, new teaching tools, study materials such as note books, pens and pencils were all provided to students.
“The difference between our old teaching method and the new one is simple: our students are now succeeding. We also created an additional lesson for students with a slower learning pace that is taught in the afternoon twice a week. For stronger students, a new class is offered to prepare them for the student competition between 8 schools in Xieng Ngeun District, happening in December 2015,” shares Bounphanh, teacher.
“I plan to send Mr. R-Lack to the mathematics competition. I have seen such positive changes in him since implementing the learner-centered approach in our school. Mr. R-Lack has become an active, perseverant and confident student who interacts positively with his peers and teachers,” Bounphanh added.
“I love studying, especially mathematics. I like school because I have friends, play football and do activities that are interesting,” R-Lack says.
“I am so happy to be selected as my school’s representative in this competition. I will try my best to succeed,” R-Lack says with a big smile.
“On behalf of the teachers and students in this school, I would like to thank World Vision and the government for supporting us in our efforts to improve children’s education in our village. Teachers are now better equipped to facilitate learning and promote healthy lifestyles,” Bounphanh says.