High School Scholarships
In grades 10, 11, and 12 students receive free education for the first half of the day. After that, they must pay their teachers for private classes in order to get a complete education and be able to pass exams. Because of this, students living in poverty who cannot pay the fees do not have an equal chance of completing their secondary schooling. This is why less than 5% of the rural population graduates high school.
PLF students are meeting with success in their primary school education and are pushing themselves to continue to secondary school in ever-increasing numbers. It’s costly to support such a large student body, but this is a good problem to have because it means their passion for education is growing. It also means PLF must choose the students for the scholarships carefully, taking into consideration the student’s grades, attendance, their level of motivation, the family’s level of support, the ability of the other members of the family to make up lost income, the general stability of the family and many other components that make up a student’s ability to overcome obstacles to their graduation. This selection process happens as the students enter Grade 12. Those selected receive a 1-year “exam prep” scholarship, providing the extra support they need to ensure their success in passing the grade 12 national exam.
Until there are fundamental changes in the Cambodian school system, we are committed to identifying strategies and methods to support these students in their efforts to graduate. They need to take all five subjects (Khmer language, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics) in order to be prepared to take the Grade 12 exam and graduate.
The cost of a school year includes teachers’ fees, books, payments for exams & quizzes, and transcript documents. Adding English language to the mix is of great benefit, as is a decent bike to make the commute to school more feasible. All told, it costs about $450 per year to put one student through high school. On average that is at least half their family’s income, which means that without support a high school education is an impossible dream.
We’d like to see all of our primary school alumni graduate Grade 12. Their country needs them.