Sister School Program, Kampong Speu Province, Cambodia
Balcatta Senior High School is one of the many schools located in the Department of Education’s North Eastern Metropolitan Region in a sister school relationship with a Cambodian school as part of the Angkor Project. The sister school relationship commenced in January 2009 when the then Principal, Anna Kristancic, and Deputy Principal, Pat Serrell, travelled to Cambodia and negotiated a sister school relationship with Treng Trayeoung Secondary School in the District of Phonm Sroud.
The Angkor Project (‘Children Helping to Rebuild the Schools of Cambodia’) focuses on supporting schools and staff in the Kampong Speu Province, located 50 kms west of Phnom Penh, which is one of the poorest rural provinces in Cambodia and one in most need of support. The Project aims to address poverty by enhancing student attendance and participation at school, supporting infrastructure improvements, and building the capacity of teachers in schools and staff in the Provincial Education Office.
Treng Trayeoung Secondary School has a population of approximately 1,500 students from Years 8 to 12. Balcatta Senior High School supports the Treng Trayeoung Secondary School through fund raising events during the year. Fundraising by Balcatta Senior High School assists their sister school with projects such as water fountains, physical education equipment, learning resources, computer equipment and painting of various buildings in the school grounds.
Every two years, a group of students and teachers from Balcatta Senior High School visit the school and help with specific projects as part of the World Challenge Program. In 2018, a group of Year 10 and Year 11 students and teacher, Mr Haldane Schmiedte, from Balcatta Senior High School visited the Treng Trayeoung Secondary School. The funds provided by our students fundraising events went towards building a water tank and tank stand. Students and teachers also helped around the school with general maintenance and tidying the grounds. Fundraising ideas include coffee-making by the students going on the World Challenge tour, Entertainment Book sales, greeting card sales, bake sales, Free Dress Days and sausage sizzles at athletic carnivals.
A further student visit will occur in November 2020.
Further information about the Cambodian Angkor Project and proposed study tours for 2020 can be found here.
Link to the official Angkor Project Facebook page is available here.
The Angkor Project is a collaboration between the Western Australian Department of Education (DoE) and the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport that builds sister school relationships to enhance the education of students in both Cambodia and Western Australia.
Cambodian education is characterised by:
- low levels of participation,
- insufficient classrooms resulting in shift systems,
- 70% of schools without drinking water or toilets,
- most schools without electricity,
- high class size averages of about 50,
- a lack of trained teachers and school administrators,
- very low salary levels for school staff, and
- in many schools, very few books or teaching materials.