Holidays have to end. Work has to be done. Joan is back in Scotland in sub-zero temperatures and I have to put up with more than a month in the mid to high 20s with no rain at all. It’s just not fair. This weekend I had another go at a few more ‘letters’ (see link above), some educational, some just observations. The letter on ‘Child Friendly Schools’ will be in the TES on 28th January. I don’t know if the others will be published but I have enjoyed the discipline of working within 500 words.
Last week I was in Kampong Chhnang (yes it does have two ‘h’s ), for the final consultation session on the new Child Friendly Schools policy and plan and the new Curriculum Policy and plan. While I have only played a minor role, it has been a fascinating experience to see another national system grappling with the problem of how to help more children to succeed at school, albeit from a very different starting point. Since these areas of work are now going to dry up I am left with two major projects and lots of bits and pieces. The two major projects are the ‘Effective Teaching and Learning’ DVD, which I will be working on next week, and the development of a better English language curriculum for Cambodia. I’m going to give these my best shot. There have been recent, very positive, moves to work with Peace Corps together with the Ministry here to build a better all-through English Language curriculum. I am quite hopeful.
On a personal note, life in Phnom Penh has looked up recently. First of all I discovered the VIP sports club.. with its 25 metre outdoor pool and extensive gym. Why did I not know about this before? It’s a bit rundown, and the showers are ‘mosquito central’, but it’s less than 10 minutes cycle from my work. I will be back there quite often I predict! I also have had my bike repaired. For the last wee while, the gear selector has not been working (we’re only talking three gears here, but when you’re stuck in first as I was that’s a lot of rotations per kilometre). Today a skilled young man sorted it, and a squeaky brake, for $3. Of course if I’d had a toolbox here I could have attempted the repair myself and probably made things much worse. As it is I have a third gear again. Tuk tuks better watch out.
Meantime, work continues slowly on the new Ministry building (I’ll post some photos later this week)!