MEET THE TEAM: UWS EDUCATION OFFICER
Building a school doesn’t transform the future of a community overnight. It takes time, patience, and a team of really great people. Our Education Officers play an important part in developing our UWS Schools. They train teachers, deliver resources, and even visit their schools during the monsoon. We like to think of them as our everyday superheroes, and could not do what we do without them.
Keo Boulin is the Education Officer for five primary schools in Siem Pang Disctrict, Northeast Cambodia. He joined the UWS Team in 2017, and has been working hard to support remote communities ever since. Keo Boulin is also part of our Education Team for Stung Treng Province.
We sat down with him to find out more about his work with UWS.
Thanks so much taking the time to be interviewed! Can you describe a memorable moment that has happened in your job recently?
When I teach our teachers to use materials and maths, and they understand, I am very happy. I am also happy when I go to schools and see the students studying and smiling, and when I see how the team is working well and helping each other.
What does your typical day look like in brief (how do you get to school, when do lessons start, what time is lunch, when do you finish teaching, what do you do after lessons)?
I always ride my motorbike to the school and leave the office at 5am. I arrive at school at 7am for monitoring and teaching. I have lunch at the school at 11:30am. During the school’s free play I sit with the students to read books in the library and play with the LEGO.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
My favourite thing is to share my knowledge with the students and teachers at the schools.
What is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is encouraging older children to go to school because their families don’t always understand the importance of education. Often they will take their children to do the work at home or to go to the farm. The children want to go to school but it is hard if parents say come to work.
Do your government and community teacher face any challenges?
Sometimes the knowledge of the community teachers is low. Some of them only studied until Grade 4 or not at all. This can prove challenging. The main challenge that government teachers face is that in some communities the children cannot speak the national language, and they speak in their tribal language which the teacher doesn’t always understand.
How does education policy in your country have an impact on teaching of your teachers?
We don’t train the school’s Principal but their role is very important. They must be effective and responsible and have trust from all the community.
What would you like people in other countries to understand about education in your country?
I want to tell people that in Cambodia there are not enough teachers, classes and materials for children in the unreachable areas. In some villages the only schools they have are just underneath the houses of the people who live there.
If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
I want to change the communities ideas about the education. For example, they need to push their children to go to school everyday, and they must support the school’s development in their village.