What are the needs of math students in Cambodia?

Sothika (right) with his math teacher
Sothika (right) with his math teacher
What are the needs of math students? How can they be supported in passing their final exams? Sothika Koeurn is Community Hero of BOOKBRIDGE Learning Center Angtasom and has applied for BOOKBRIDGE Stipend Program to attend a private mathematics class in order to better understand the difficulties the students at his learning center are facing. Here is his report.

When having a chance to apply for BOOKBRIDGE stipend program I happened to know the need of students in high school. I used to survey them by doing some informal question with the ones who have been studying English in the learning center. I finally found out the weakness of grade 12 students in mathematics.

Among the main subjects in the final exam for high school students in Cambodia which all students must focus on are Khmer literature, Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. But almost 40 percent of them have problems in studying Mathematics. One student told me that the slow students just come and study but they don’t understand at all. They even attended extra classes but still don´t know how to deal with mathematics exercises.

Cambodian students face severyl difficulties in math
Cambodian students face severyl difficulties in math
Therefore, I took this good chance to study math in grade twelve with the purpose to help slower students pass their final examinations with expectation to study only the whole lesson without more practice in exercises. I think I can practice them later when I have understood the lesson. I had spent 3 months of private math classes with a math teacher from the University of Mathematics and I applied it on the weekends.

I have received the Stipend Program on December 8th with an amount of $250 and with my own offering of $50. The total amount of this money is used to pay the teacher’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 since it is near my home. Now, it comes to an end and we have finished 50% of the whole program. Below are the main lessons I have learned:

  1. Complex number
  2. Limit
  3. Continuous function
  4. Derive
  5. Graph

We still have five more lessons:

  1. Integral
  2. Equation differential
  3. Probability
  4. Vector
  5. Conic

These are all basic learnings. It guides me to do more research with more practice. It really takes time to practice with more exercises. But I still want to finish the five main lessons left over.

Through discussion with my math teacher, I additionally got more of an idea of how to help slow students. He said they are slow in grade 12 because they are slow from grade 7 on, the time they started their secondary school as they had never really understood the basic lesson starting from grade 7. If we want to help them, we might have to spent time to review them on those lessons before starting the grade 12 lesson since they are really connected to each other. As far as I´m concerned, learning Mathematics is for building trust in the community by offering Mathematics lessons free of charge to support students to better understand math.

In conclusion, I myself, have to find more time to practice with more exercises so that I can go and understand deeply the lesson. So, it would be easy to help the slow students. This is one of the free offerings BOOKBRIDGE Learning Center Angtasom has planned to make happened. Five more lesson as mentioned above is a burden for me to continue.

2 thoughts on “What are the needs of math students in Cambodia?

  • Linda Nordin says:

    Great work! And what a good idea to offer the Mathematic lessons as free offerings!

  • Christa Biswas says:

    I agree.
    Wish the organisation for all their educational work and activities in Cambodia courage, success and patience.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    Jyoti Biswas, Kolkata, India


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