Students in Cambodia spend a majority of their time studying - from mandatory school hours to extra private classes for those who can afford it. A group of students, primarily girls, in three nearby villages continue their studies late into the night at a small open air clubhouse. They study physics, chemistry, and English and review the previous week’s lesson by learning from the top student in each class.
They have developed a strong sense of community around their studies; what they lack is a safe space with resources. By building a community library next to the club, students will have access to classroom textbooks to aide in teaching each other, and our community has requested English books to improve English literacy of students.
A productive study environment is not only physical, but there must be a supportive social climate for students to succeed. Despite students’ dedication to their studies, parents often have to ask their children to drop out due to financial reasons. About six percent of students dropped out of the high school last year. Conversations between parents, students, and teachers are necessary to keep students in school, so at an event on International Women’s Day presentations will be made in order to begin to shift community culture to support girls and their education.
This culture shift is necessary to decrease the dropout rate as well as ensure a supportive community environment with resources provided by the new library to increase students’ ownership of their education and study habits.