In order to have the staff do a great job with the children, it is important to keep them motivated, interested and to help with their own personal development. Recently we took the staff to Phnom Penh for the day to attend the TedX conference.
For those of you not familiar with the TED concept, you should visit the webtsite to see more; they often have iconic speakers, including Nobel laureates etc Of course the events at TEDx are not as well lauded but in their own way the speakers bring a more local perspective to the concept of “spreading ideas”, something TED has become synonymous with.
The event was MC’d by Princess Norodom Soma and there was even some intrigue, with the finale being cancelled due to concerns of the political nature of the content. That aside, it was a good event, the staff enjoyed themselves and more importantly, listened to both Khmer and foreign speakers on how things could be different, the importance of education and they got to see networking being used to ensure ideas could be spread further.
This was the first time many of them had been to their nations capital, and before the bus arrived to take us all back to Sihanoukville, they managed to to tour their national museum and royal palace to view some of the Khmer history.
One thing that was reinforced was the importance of the use of the Internet and modern social networking tools to allow collaboration and while the school does have computers, the lack of power (see below) and the teachers (let alone Children) having no access to the Internet to be able to prepare lesson plans and engage in self improvement is something we are aware of.
I’ll finish with this relevant and iconic TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson about schooling killing creativity, this same video was also played at TEDx itself.
The power outages have become worse recently, making it really hard to run evening classes. No lights, no power, no computer classes and the evening English classes are made more difficult. Surety of electricity is something we in the West mostly take for granted, we are lucky to go a day and not have the power out for many number of hours here.