To improve the the professional development of our staff at the BOOKBRIDGE learning centers, we offer a stipend program. The idea is that we continously need to invest into our staff, both teachers and Head of Learning Centers, to achieve quality education. The aim of the Professional Development Stipend Program is to support the development of talented young professionals and secure committed and well qualified staff members for our Learning Centers. Sothika Khoeun and Sreydieb Long, both Community Heroes and Head of Learning Centers in two of our learning centers in Cambodia, received a stipend from the fund. In this article they describe their experience and learnings.
Sothika Khoen, Learning Center Ang Tasom
The Quality Initiative Fund is very important to restore and build teacher’s capacity in my Mobile Learning Center (Learning Center Ang Tasom). Since it is matched with the urgent needs in this reagion, I have requested the fund. I have received the stipend since December 2016 with the amount of $492.25. I used the money to buy training material and to hire a trainer. The teacher training took place every Saturday afternoon from 2pm to 5pm at the learning center.
Contents of the training were teaching methodologies on basic educational content like:
1. Present simple basic grammar
2. Basic conversation in class with students
3. Phonetic symbol and pronunciation in Everybody Up1
4. How to produce studying materials
5. How to teach with visual aids
6. How to make a short lesson plan
We finished the training on March 11th with a fruitful result. The teachers appreciate techniques to teach with visual aids and to produce material for the visual aids teaching. They said they don’t want to teach in the space anymore, but they want to teach with pictures, posters, and materials. They feel teaching by this way is very different from their previous style of teaching, just read, spell for students and ask students to read on the board or spell the word again.
I have also requested the Stipend Program. My goal was to study mathematics in grade 12 in intention to offer free math courses and to promote the image of my learning center. The whole program of mathematics in grade 12 is long and it is really hard to finish it within 3 months.
I have received a stipend of $250 starting in December, my own offering was $50. The total amount of this money is used to pay the trainers’s wage for 48 hours in which he charges $100 per 16 hours. I took my weekend mornings to study at BOOKBRIDGE Learning Center Takeo. Now, it comes to its end and we finish 50% of the whole program. Below are the main lessons I have learned:
1. Complex number
3. Continuous function
We still have five other main lessons left like integrals, equation differential, probability, vector and conic.
These basic lessons guide me to do more research and more practice. However, it really takes time to practice and doing exercises. But I still want to finish the five main lessons left over.
Sreydieb Long, Community Hero at Learning Center Takeo
Self-development is very good for me and everyone who livse around me and if I want to delegate my knowledge to them, I will need to get myself improved first. I need time and money for my self-development. I am lucky that BOOKBRIDGE has provided me an opportunity to reach my goal through its Stipend Program which aims at building capability for learning center staff. So I applied for the program requesting a fund to cover the payment for a master course at Royal University of Phnom Penh. It took a month to hear an approval on the fund I requested from that program and I was very excited to become a beneficiary of the program. The fun will cover my tuition fee at the university over a period of 2-year program that consists of 6 terms and I have received 350 USD per term for paying the course fee. So far I have gone through almost 2 terms (term 1 started in December 2016 and term 2 has started in May 2017).
Actually, there are universities in Takeo provincial town where I live. However, I decided to study in Phnom Penh even though it has been hard to travel back and forth between Takeo and Phnom Penh and sometimes I got lost in the city. The course is good for me to gain new experiences from different areas and meet people with different backgrounds. I was shocked when I first came to my class as I found myself I am a tiny ant sitting among elephants. I have got good experiences and my education is broader than before as my classmates and I always share what we have taught our students and seen in our society. I also have taken some theories from lecturers to apply with my students.