On September 21, the team of BOOKBRIDGE Cambodia successfully convened a multi-stakeholder meeting at Angrokar primary school. The meeting’s outcomes will serve as key inputs for the case study for our upcoming 7th Capability Program that will develop a business plan for a learning center.
The purpose of the meeting was two-fold. Firstly, it was to inform the participants about BOOKBRIDGE Cambodia’s renewed initiative to turn our current micro learning center in Angrokar into a fully fledged learning center trusted by the community. Secondly, it was to get to learn more about the community needs in terms of education and training services as well as the community resources that can be processed to meet the community needs identified earlier. 21 participating stakeholders from diverse institutions attended the meeting including the District Office of Education chief, local state school principals, commune and village chiefs, and local business representatives.
We structured the meeting in key three sessions. It commenced with a brief speech by District Office of Education chief and was followed by a brief introduction to BOOKRBIDGE, BOOKBRIDGE Cambodia and the Micro Learning Center by BOOKBRIDGE’s Country Manager Sokhan Khut. The participants were curious about the learning center’s paid courses. For instance, the school director would like to see classes open both in the morning and afternoon besides evening classes. He wondered how the learning center is going to benefit the local state teachers. The second session included group discussions about the community needs particularly for education and training services. The last session dealt with the community resources in four dimensions namely human, institutions, business and environment that can potentially meet the community needs identified earlier.
As a result we could identify and prioritize the three most significant community needs with respect to education and training services: (1) course offerings in English, computer skills and Chinese as it accounts for 21 votes or 33%, (2) sufficient amounts of wide-ranging good quality books and reading materials both in Khmer and English as it accounts for 19 votes or 30%, (3) soft skills such as ethics and discipline as it accounts for 14 votes or 22%. Another meeting outcome is that also the human, institutions, business and environment resources were identified. For instance, the contacts of potential teachers and trainers were provided and key local institutions, businesses and natural resources were listed down. The meeting ended with a very positive atmosphere, and everyone seemed to have got informed and ready to be supportive and collaborative as well as to thrive on challenges ahead.