KNAR Village Learning Center
In late 2017 we piloted our very first Learning Center in Knar Village. PLF’s model has always been and very much remains to support and enhance access to quality public education, and opening a Learning Center off the grounds of the government’s primary school was a new test to that model. One that over the years has proven vastly successful.
In order to enroll at KVLC to gain access to PLF programming (from school supplies to scholarships), students must maintain strong attendance at the government school. This requirement pushes both the students and their families to pursue education levels far beyond what the community typically achieved. In the 2018-2019 school year, 82.5% of the Grade 4-6 students enrolled at Knar Primary were also enrolled at KVLC. That percentage increased to 88.14% in the 2019-2020 school year.
Attendance in our enrichment programs also increased as KVLC students are automatically enrolled in those programs whereas before at Knar Primary they needed to sign up specially. At KVLC, students have access to a vast library as well as arts & crafts, music, science, remedial Khmer, and English classes. High school students can also begin computer classes.
Since changing to the Learning Center model, we’ve also seen an increase in parental participation; there’s a level of ownership the community feels over the Learning Center that never seemed to click within the regular school grounds. Being outside the public school also gives us more flexibility in terms of programming and we’ve been able to respond more immediately to the needs and interests of the community. We’re planning the opening of a Community Library accompanied by adult literacy classes as requested by the parents.
Srayang Learning Center
We’re now expanding this Learning Center model to Srayang as the next evolution from our former Srayang dorm. Instead of only the top 25-30% of graduating 6th graders living at the dorm to access secondary school, we have huge trucks to transport all students each morning from both Romchek and Koh Ker villages. For the very first time, 100% of all graduates from both primary schools can continue on to secondary school.
Students have their government curriculum at the public school (just across the road!), eat lunch at the Center and finish up the day there with English Classes, Remedial Khmer and Math classes, Computer class, access to a library, informal study groups, Life Skill Workshops, Chess Clubs, and whatever else we dream up along the way.
In Grade 10 students and their families begin the decision process around applying to the Siem Reap Scholars Dorm. Before 2020, Grade 12 did not exist in Srayang so every student seeking a high school diploma needed to do so in a larger urban center. Now, though, PLF supports students at the Srayang Learning Center through Grade 12, with those who are college-bound are still able to come to Siem Reap at grade 11 for a more intensive college preparatory program with PLF that is designed to help them succeed at the Phnom Penh universities.