GLEF recently completed the project for Don Tret Community Elementary School, located in Somlaut in the Battambang Province in Cambodia. The current school complex is only a few years old, but the community it supports is growing and was in need of a more sustainable school building for its children. The following is a brief history of this school.
In 2007, the first one-room wooden classroom (pictured below) was built on land was provided by the Somlaut community chief. Back then, the teacher was a community volunteer, as the school was not officially supported by the District Office of Education (DOE).
But the Samlaut community is a dedicated and committed group of people, and along with support from World Vision and KHEN a local NGO, the school was improved with rain water catchment tanks, a playground, a water well, latrine, plus teaching and learning materials for the preschool. The complex was also expanded to three wooden classrooms with learning supplies and more. With the villagers’ focus on improving their community and NGO support, Don Tret Community Elementary School was officially recognized by DOE in 2014. Now the school’s principal and its two teachers are funded by the Ministry of Education Youth and Support (MoEYS) and they are all trained in proper teaching methodology. The School Improvement Grant (SIG) a Swedish government grant also gives additional support to MoEYS for Don Tret Community Elementary School. MoEYS contribution per student annually is $2-3 USD. This school also is strongly supported by the School Supporting Committee (SSC) which impacts the school management and sustainability. The school’s land has also been donated now and it is officially registered to the school asset of the DOE.
School enrollment has more than doubled over the last three years. In the 2012-13 school year, there were 44 students. During the 2014-15 school year, there were 153 students from preschool to fourth grade. The students per grade are:
Preschool: 25 students
Grade 1: 28 students
Grade 2: 30 students
Grade 3: 35 students
Grade 4: 35 students
The wooden school buildings are a great attention to this community, but they do not keep the rain out of the classroom during Cambodia’s monsoon season. In 2014, Project Leads and GLEF Ambassadors Paul and Samantha Eang submitted a project request to GLEF to consider building a more sustainable structure for this dedicated community.
In the autumn of 2015, GLEF approved the Eang’s project proposal and fundraising to construct a three-room cinder block building with a cement floor and a tile roof for Don Tret Community Elementary School was reached ($40,000) in 2016. Construction was completed in late 2017 and the grand-0pening ceremony was in February 2018.
The Don Tret Community Elementary School supports a community of over 1,780 people comprised of 445 families. These farming families harvest cassava, used to produced bio-gas, corn for factories and also fruit such as durians, pineapples and logan berries.
The closest school to Don Tret Community Elementary School is about 10 km away and supports grades 1-6. Because of the distance, which would be traveled by foot or bike, it is too far away for daily education.
The new GLEF three-room school structure is unique to this area, as it is the only one of its kind within many kilometers.
Please contact GLEF if you are interested in on-going support the Don Tret Community Elementary School at Info@GoldenLeafSchools.org, by donating through the secure link below or check by mail at:
Golden Leaf Education Foundation
3439 NE Sandy Blvd. #412
Portland, OR 97232
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