By Jacqui Rawson

You can pretty much always find students in the PLF schools that instead of playing during their breaks make their way to the library to fill their thirst for reading.

And it’s an extremely pleasing sight when you take into account that reading has not really existed in Cambodia’s culture particularly not just reading-for-readings sake over the past 40 years.

“It’s hard to find high quality books written in Khmer, and even more difficult to find people reading them – a prospect that worries many educators and threatens the kingdom’s socio-economic future”.

By Erin Moriarty, Phnom Penh Post.


It really is positive to see this change happening with our students and even more positive is finding someone like Samnang, who also shares a love of reading, to run the Reading Room at Knar.  Graduating from Grade 12 at Banteay Srey high school last year, Samnang has taken on her first ever job working for PLF in a role she loves.

The Knar library is not new to her as she also spent her breaks in this same library reading books when she attended Knar Primary School.  And although she still gets to read books, she’s now reading them to other students.

As well as reading the books out loud to kindergarten and grade 1 students, her responsibilities also include explaining the story that the picture books are telling and offering words of wisdom about the different characters in the books such as the “bad-scary’ man or the “beautiful princess”.


She also encourages the older students to read and for them to produce book reports when they finish.  The best book reports are then kept on display in the library partly as decorations but also so other students can have a read.

Samnang is so enthusiastic about reading and if her keenness to pass on that enthusiasm is anything to go by we should find a lot more students in the library at break times, totally engrossed in the world they are discovering with their noses locked-in their books.