By Sokha Khoun, Media teacher.
I had joined the Ponheary Ly Foundation media class on the 5th of November 2012. It was my first time to go to a digital media class. I walked inside the classroom and said hello to Diana Gross and her six students. I was so nervous to talk to the three boys and three girls because they looked higher than me. I introduced myself to them and then we started to know each other.
I came back home with many questions in my brain: how can I teach a digital media class? I told myself they are higher than me. I didn’t know what the word media meant, I just knew that in media class they made videos so I thought they would only make videos. After two weeks we started to think about a trip to Srayang to make a video about the lives of the students who struggle to go to school. Diana Gross of Global Citizen Media started to make plans with all the students, to brainstorm the questions to ask the people that we would interview. The film we finished became “SUNFLOWERS OF SRAYANG”.
What made me very interested with media class is the question “Why?”. It made me wonder so much with this questions: many times Diana asked that question to the students and they all looked at me. I liked to give them examples about something similar, and not just to tell them the answer because what I have learned is helping people to think is better than giving answers.
While we were making Sunflowers of Srayang, it was the first time for me to interview people. I thought what can I do to help the students with asking questions to make the people we interview to give us the whole story. To ask someone and get the whole story of what they have faced in the past is not easy; moreover, they are the people in the countryside, so they are not really okay to sit in front of a camera and tell their own story to you. But, with a lot of hard work, they did.
After two days of interviewing, some of the students came to say thank you to me. They said, “Sister if you had not joined our media class, I would not have gotten the whole story”.
I now believe that digital media can develop the education of Cambodians and provide opportunities for 21st century employment.
Last month, I went to Somduch Ouv High School to present about the importance of media to the 10th grade students. I spoke to 80 students who had never heard of media before. I am now teaching a new level one media class with 10 new students for the Ponheary Ly Foundation . I will continue to tell people about media so that more and more will learn to use it.