The owners of Bambu Hotel Battambang are proud to be associated with a grass roots project in the village of Slarkram about 8km outside the city. The village is an overwhelmingly agricultural based community which has little in the way of amenities westerners take for granted such as mains water or electricity. The English School aims to provide free English classes to those children from families who couldn't otherwise afford it.
Put simply a basic working knowledge of English will greatly enhance a child's career prospects. In Cambodia career options for children from rural areas like Slarkram are extremely limited. In urban areas, and if the family finances permit, children will often be sent to English schools. However for reasons of poverty and accessibility this is not possible in the countryside. A knowledge of English opens doors to jobs in tourism, government and NGOs who increasingly demand their employees to have a basic knowledge of English. We hope that with better career prospects our students will help bring some prosperity to the local community and that the school will help in a small way to bridge the widening gap between urban and rural areas.
The school has been running since 2005 and we now teach 340 local children between the ages of 5 and 22 for one hour a day. We use the local primary school classrooms as they become available at the end of the day and offer 16 classes at different levels.
We would like to encourage our guests to visit the school and help out in class. No teaching experience is necessary, just a basic knowledge of English. By meeting students and staff and practicing English with them in their classes you will be helping enormously. The children get a lot of enjoyment from interacting with foreigners and you will get a chance to experience life in a Cambodian classroom - something you will never forget.
Due to a lack of facilities and teachers children in Cambodia receive state education for only half a day. The schools operate on a "shift" basis with students attending in either the morning or afternoon. In the future we would like to offer a more comprehensive education for our students and we have secured a plot of land near the school where we would like to build some classrooms - from here we can offer 3 hours English tuition for that portion of the day the students are not at the state school.
Bambu charges nominal fees for the rental of DVDs and bicycles for our guests and the money from these will go directly to the school. We are also looking at other ways of raising finances for the school and would welcome any input guests might have.